CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a battle of the Engineers, the #20 nationally ranked MIT women's soccer team defeated WPI with a score of 3-0 in the first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game for both teams. Junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal 17 minutes into the first half and Tech only got stronger from there. The MIT Engineers are now 5-1-2 for the season and 1-0 in conference play, while the WPI Engineers dipped to 6-2 and 0-1 in league play.
Just 19 minutes into the first period, it seemed as if MIT might score its first goal when Krishnamachar eluded defenders and headed the ball to herself and then kicked it at the net but it was saved by diving WPI keeper, Maddie Willer. WPI had a shot at a goal next when, at the 38 minute mark, lead goal-scorer Megan Forti ran past the defenders and shot from the far left side but was thwarted by freshman goalie Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.). Three minutes later, sophomore Morgan Moroi (New Albany, Ohio) shot to the left side of the net after a pass from Krishnamachar, but Willer knocked the ball just wide of the net to keep the score tied at zero.
At 17:17, following a cross from senior Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.), Krishnamachar blew past defenders, cut to the middle of the box and shot to the right top corner of the net. This was her first goal of the season and Dias Carlson's four assist.
With nine minutes remaining in the half, WPI had its best chance at a goal when Ullmann was brought too far out of the cage, leaving the net wide open for a charging Forti. Forti, however, overshot and the ball went just left of the goal. The period ended with a slight MIT lead of 1-0.
Freshman Tamar Weseley (Weston, Conn.) replaced Ullmann in net for the remaining 45 minutes, seeing a lot more action as the half went on. At the 53 minute mark, following a WPI foul, senior Samantha Fleischmann (Eastchester, N.Y.) notched her first goal of the season off a free kick, burying the ball in the back left hand corner of the net. A few minutes later, Krishnamachar and senior Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala.) put together a great play when Rodriguez received the pass from Krishnamachar and headed the ball at the net, but it went just wide. With time winding down, Weseley made an impressive save with Forti running right at her, diving on the ball to prevent WPI from closing the gap.
At 89:22, with less than 40 seconds left on the clock, Moroi scored her second goal of the season after a cross from fellow sophomore Page Uriarte (San Diego, Calif.), shooting the ball to the right side of the net, just past Willer's hands. The game ended with a Tech victory.
MIT outshot WPI 27-18. Ullmann, who is now 5-1-2 for the season, only had to make three saves, while Weseley had to save seven. On the opposite end of the field, Willer notched 10 saves. Krishnamachar, once again, led the MIT Engineers with seven shots at the net and Forti led the WPI Engineers with an impressive 10 shots, six of which had to be saved.
Tech will return to the field on Saturday, Sept. 28 when it hosts NEWMAC foe Springfield College at 1:00 p.m. Nine of its remaining 10 games this season will be played against conference rivals. WPI will host Wentworth Institute of Technology on Tuesday, Sept. 24.