CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior Emily Kuo (Chicago, Ill.) scored in the 23rd minute and junior Meghan Wright (Devon, Pa.) made some key second half saves as the MIT women's soccer team scored a 1-0 victory over Wellesley College in a quarterfinal game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference women's soccer tournament at Roberts Field in Steinbrenner Stadium. With the win MIT, the No. 3 seed, advances to a semifinal matchup with No. 2 seed Wheaton College on Saturday.
Most of the beginning of the game was played in the midfield area as both squads probed to find openings in the defenses. Sophomore Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.) had an early shot for MIT, as did Wellesley's Ava Mokhtari, but both were easily turned aside by the goalkeepers.
MIT's attack started to pick up in the 20th minute and the momentum it generated eventually led to what turned out to be the only goal of the game. In the 23rd minute Dias Carlson slipped a pass through the Blue defense to Kuo, who was open to the left of the Wellesley goal. She corralled the ball and fired off a shot from 12 yards out that found the back of the net for her team leading sixth score of the season.
Wellesley had a solid chance at the equalizer late in the half when Emily DeVito found herself open in front of the MIT goal, but her shot sailed high and the game remained at 1-0 at the half.
In the second half the Blue put pressure on the MIT defense and got an early opportunity five minutes in on a shot by Chelsea-Ann Patry, but the shot was knocked down by the Engineers defense. Wellesley got off another pair of shots 10 minutes later from Emily Wilson and Truchi, but Wright was up to the task, saving both to preserve the MIT advantage.
In the 74th minute Wellesley had its best chance at the equalizer. A scramble in front of the MIT goal resulted in the ball popping back out to the Blue's Emily Wilson. Wright was initially out of position to make the save, but by the time Wilson settled the ball and took a shot, Wright had recovered enough to make a diving stop.
MIT came close to expanding its lead in the 79th minute when freshman Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) got free for a good shot opportunity, but Wellesley's Claire Cerda, who came into the game at halftime, made a diving stop of her own to keep it a one-goal game.
Wellesley picked up a pair of corner kicks in the 80th minute, but was unable to generate a scoring opportunity off of either as the Engineers held on to take the win and advance to the semifinal round.
Wellesley outshot MIT, 13-11, but Wright was able to save all eight shots that found their way on goal. Cerda and S.J. Gray, who started the game for the Blue, each recorded four saves.
MIT (13-3-2) will play Wheaton on Saturday, November 5 at 3:00 p.m. in a semifinal game that will be held at Springfield College.