Great Defense and Three-Goal Second Half Leads MIT to 3-1 Win over Wheaton

Senior Kaitlyn Nealon

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Following an action-packed second half, which saw all four goals of the game being scored within the first nine minutes of action, #22 MIT women's soccer team defeated New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Wheaton College, who was previously undefeated in conference games, by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon. Junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) scored two of the Engineers' goals less than two minutes apart. Tech is now 7-2-2 and 3-1 in NEWMAC play, moving it up to second in the conference behind Springfield, while Wheaton dipped to 7-5-1 and 2-1 in league action.

There were no real goal threats by either team in the first 20 minutes of action, as the ball was constantly switching possession and spending the majority of the time in the middle of the field. With two minutes remaining in the half, the Lyons had a great chance at a goal when the ball made its way deep into the MIT box, but senior Kaitlyn Nealon (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) always got in the way of any potential shots. Throughout the period, freshman keeper Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.) only had to make a handful of saves.

Locked at zero at the start of the second period, the game quickly turned around. At the 46 minute mark, senior Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.) scored her first goal of the season off a deflected kick by a Wheaton player. Three minutes later, Krishnamachar scored her first goal of the afternoon following a cross from sophomore Priyanka Gaur (Austin, Texas) to classmate Morgan Moroi (New Albany, Ohio). Krishnamachar's shot brought goalkeeper Lauren Thacker far enough out of the net to sneak the ball into the left corner of the goal. Less than two minutes later, after receiving a pass from senior Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala.), Krishnamachar scored her fourth goal of the season in the exact same manner as the previous goal. Junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) looked to continue the fast pace of the game by sending the ball flying at the net a minute and a half later, but Thacker made the save.

At the 55 minute mark, four minutes after Krishnamachar's second goal, Lauren Corigliano headed the ball into the left corner of the net and past the hands of freshman goalkeeper Tamar Weseley (Weston, Conn.), putting Wheaton on the board and making them more of a threat. With 18 minutes remaining on the clock, Corigliano got dangerously close to the MIT net and took a shot from inside the box, but freshman Victoria Gregory (Syracuse, N.Y.) threw herself in front of the ball to prevent another goal. Six minutes later, she had another great block, this time sliding in the way of a shot by Cat Amick. At the 80 minute mark, Weseley had her most impressive save of the night when she punched a shot by Kelsee Howes just over the crossbar. Both goalies were kept busy right until the very end of the game but ultimately, neither team was able to score another goal and the game ended with an MIT victory.

Tech outshot the Lyons, 25-16. Thacker saved nine of those shots, while Ullmann made two saves and Weseley totaled six. Moroi played a strong game, putting together a string of good plays and making it past Wheaton defenders multiple times, but many of her shots were blocked before they could make it to Thacker. She led the Engineers with her seven shots, two of which were saved early on in the first half.

MIT will next host Clark University on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1:00 p.m. in yet another NEWMAC game.