Field hockey beats Wellesley, 2-1

Kauffman’s deflection in 69th minute breaks deadlock

Co-captain Katie Kauffman ’12 redirected a shot from the top of the circle in the game’s final minutes to help the MIT field hockey team secure a dramatic, 2-1 win over visiting Wellesley College in NEWMAC play on Jack Barry Field Tuesday night. Kauffman’s goal, along with stellar MIT defense which limited the Blue to just six shots, helped the Engineers rebound from an overtime loss to Mount Holyoke College earlier in the week and improve to 14-2 overall and 6-1 in league play. The victory was Tech’s first over Wellesley since 2004.

After entering the ball on a penalty corner with just under two minutes remaining, Kauffman positioned herself on the left post and was in the perfect spot to deflect a shot by Alexandra A. Wright ’11. The goal was Kauffman’s 11th of the season and third in the past five games.

Kimberly A. Barker ’13 gave the hosts an early advantage, gathering a bouncing rebound in front of the net and tapping it into the cage just over 10 minutes into the contest. Tech would control possession for most of the period, peppering the Wellesley defense with 18 shots in the half.

The pace slowed considerably in the second half and the action shifted to the midfield, as the teams combined for just nine shots in the final 35 minutes. Emily Lewis finally broke through for the Blue just over eight minutes into the second, as she collected her own rebound and beat MIT goalie Keri A. Dixon ’11 to knot the score at one. The teams would play another 25 scoreless minutes before Kauffman’s game-winner in the waning moments.

The Cardinal and Gray held a 22-6 advantage in shots and earned seven penalty corners to just three for Wellesley. Dixon made three saves, all in the second half, to pick up her 14th win of the campaign.

MIT is now off for the next 10 days before concluding its regular season with a home game against Babson College on October 30. The 1 p.m. contest could help decide the NEWMAC regular season crown and the top seed in next month’s conference tournament.