Sept. 2, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Freshman Liz Theurer corralled a rebound just off the line and knocked in the game-winning finish in the 95th minute as MIT (1-0-0) opened the 2006 slate with a 2-1 victory over non-conference rival Brandeis University (0-1-0). Senior Ashleigh Leonard set up the game's closing seconds with a shot on goal that bounced off the body of Brandeis keeper Hillary Rosenzweig.
The Engineers looked sharp in their first half since last October, switching the field and stringing together successive passes that resulted in a few early tests for Rosenzweig. In the eighth minute of the match, Leonard delivered a cross from 30 yards out on the left side of the pitch. Senior captain Mary Harding went up for the ball and used her head to re-direct the feed past the Brandeis goal.
After giving up the early advantage, the Brandeis attack responded with a scoring opportunity of its own, but sophomore Jodie Wu kicked the potential equalizer just off the line to close the threat. The Judges had a few more chances late in the frame, including a shot by senior Christine Fulton that went just wide and a great attempt by freshman Melissa Gorenkoff that was only topped by the sensational diving save made by MIT's rookie netminder, Julia Roberts.
Trailing 1-0 after the break, Brandeis enjoyed most of the opportunities in the second half and controlled possession for the remainder of the tilt. The Judges finally broke onto the board in the 58th minute as senior captain Lisa Kaplin fired home a shot from 15 yards after forcing a turnover deep in the back. Brandeis outshot MIT, 10-3, in the final 45 minutes, but was unable to get anything past Roberts. Despite a second-half lull on the offensive end, the Engineers re-energized for the overtime session, quickly driving down the field to set up for the game-winning score.
Brandeis outshot MIT, 14-9, for the game and benefited from an 11-5 advantage on corner kicks. Freshman Hillary Rosenzweig made five saves, despite suffering her first collegiate defeat. On the other end, Roberts, a natural midfielder and Tech's third-string keeper, was fantastic in her first collegiate start. She played all 95 minutes between the posts, stopping eight shots.
MIT returns to action next Wednesday in a 4 p.m. home match against Simmons College. Last season, the Engineers lost to the Sharks, 2-0. MIT, which didn't score until the sixth match of the 2005 campaign, won its first season opener since 2002.