Konopka Carries Wheaton Past MIT, 4-0
Oct. 11, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sophomore Lauren Konopka recorded a natural hat trick in a span of 12 minutes during the second half to lead Wheaton College (10-4-0, 5-0-0) to a 4-0 victory over MIT (3-9-0, 1-4-0) in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match, Tuesday afternoon. The Engineers and Lyons were deadlocked after the first half, but Wheaton raced away behind the powerful tandem of Konopka and Jenna Rebesa.
The Cardinal and Gray generated several chances early in the match and almost grabbed the lead in the first minute as a cross attempt by Amy Ludlum kicked off the foot of Ashleigh Leonard deep in the Lyons' box. Despite three corners and three shots in the first five minutes of play, MIT was unable to score as Wheaton net minder Stacey Kronenberg made three key saves.
The Lyons had chances in the first half as well, but MIT keeper Kat Vater was equal to the task. Vater made nine stops in the opening period and finished with a season-best 15 saves. Wheaton's best chance of the first half came with only six minutes left on the clock as Konopka fired a missile that slammed off the top of the crossbar.
In the second half, Wheaton's speed proved difficult for the Engineers to stop. Three minutes into the frame, Jenna Rabesa scored her sixth goal of the season for the game-winner. The reigning NEWMAC Player of the Week, Rabesa took a feed from Jenna Stiegler just outside the goal line and delivered an easy finish for the lead. In the 60th minute, Konopka tallied her first score off a pass from Jessica Bramucci. The duo hooked up again 12 minutes later, but not before Konpka sandwiched an unassisted finish between the strikes to stretch the Wheaton lead to three. Konopka's league-leading 12th goal capped the scoring in the 72nd minute.