Engineers miss the goal in NEWMAC soccer playoffs

Both men’s and women’s teams knocked out in semifinals

On Saturday, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams played in their conference semifinals. Neither team, however, could pull out a victory and advance to the NEWMAC finals.

The MIT women’s soccer team faced Babson College in the semifinal of the NEWMAC Tournament. The Engineers were looking to avenge their defeat to Babson in their regular-season finale, which cost them a top playoff seed and first-round bye. However, the teams played to a scoreless tie, and Babson outshot MIT 4-3 in penalties to advance to the conference finals.

Coming off an exciting penalty shootout win over Wellesley College last Tuesday, the Engineer defense continued to dominate the opposing attackers. They held Babson to just ten shots in 110 minutes of play, and goalkeeper Meghan S. Wright ’13 made five saves for her 13th shutout of the season. The MIT defense finishes their season having only given up seven goals in matches.

MIT’s offense had many opportunities to score as well, especially in the second overtime, but was not able to convert any. They outshot their opponents 19-10, and earned seven corners to Babson’s two.

In the shootout, Babson converted the first four of its attempts. Lauren R. Hernley ’11 was denied by Babson keeper Lisa Wojnar, but Emily Kuo ’13, Alisha D. Lussiez ’12, and Andrea Y. Park ’13 made the next three attempts for MIT to bring the tally to 4-3. Wright saved the fifth Babson penalty to keep MIT alive, but the final Engineer attempt by Merricka C. Livingstone ’13 bounced off the right post.

The loss ends the Engineers’ season, leaving them with a 13-3-3 record – a new program best.

On the men’s side, MIT faced Wheaton College in their conference semifinal. Similar to the women’s team, they faced their opponents in their last regular-season match the previous weekend, playing them to a 1-1 tie after two overtimes. This time, however, the Engineers fell 2-1.

Neither team could find the net in the first half, and the game remained scoreless until the 56th minute. On an MIT corner kick, Wheaton committed a foul in the box to give the Engineers a penalty. Jonathan K. Tebes ’14 converted the attempt to give MIT a 1-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived, as Josh Solomon of Wheaton evened the score less than six minutes later, putting his own rebound past keeper Dylan S. Rankin ‘12.

In the 84th minute, Wheaton scored again to take the lead, 2-1.

The Engineers would mount a counterattack in the closing minutes, but were unable to get past the Wheaton defense.

Rankin made eight saves in the losing effort, as Wheaton outshot MIT 20-15. MIT led Wheaton in corners, however, 6-2.

The loss snaps the Engineers’ eleven-game undefeated streak. MIT finishes its season 10-3-2.