September 19, 2006

MIT Knocks Fitchburg From Unbeaten Ranks, 1-0

Sept. 19, 2006

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior midfielder Ashleigh Leonard scored on a header off a cross in the 25th minute and the Engineers held on against a gritty Fitchburg State squad to remain perfect at Steinbrenner Stadium this season. The win moved MIT's overall record to 4-2, while the Falcons (5-1) suffered their first blemish on the 2006 slate.

While MIT enjoyed a possession advantage in the early part of the match, neither team was able to generate any significant scoring opportunities. The Engineers' fortune changed in the 25th minute as junior Andrea Staid delivered a superb cross over the top of the defense on a corner. Leonard received the pass clean and redirected the serve past Fitchburg's rookie netminder Sam Stanley in what would prove to be the game-winning score.

MIT outshot the Falcons, 12-8, although Fitchburg flirted with an equalizer several times late in the match. The Falcons had their best opportunity in the 88th minute as a scramble in front of the net resulted in a collision with MIT goal keeper Kat Vater. After Vater hit the grass, the Falcons put home what seemed to be the game-tying score, although the whistle had blown just prior to the shot and a penalty was called for the goal keeper interference. After suppressing the Fitchburg attack, the MIT offense was able to keep the ball in the other end for the rest of the match.

Vater collected four saves en route to her second shutout of the season, while Stanley finished with six saves for the Falcons. Following Saturday's win against WPI, Fitchburg State equaled the best start in program history, but was denied in setting a new College standard as MIT won for the fifth straight time against its non-conference rival.