Men’s soccer clinches first NEWMAC title
Team beats No. 1 Babson and No. 3 Springfield to make program history
At the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Semifinals, MIT Men’s Soccer defeated No. 1 seeded Babson to proceed to the championship match. MIT clinched the win against Babson after a penalty kick by junior Andrew C. Fijan in double overtime. Just 16 minutes into the game, sophomore John L. Kramer and Sean D. Bingham ’16 scored the first two goals three minutes apart. Babson tied up the game by the 29th minute, so the first half ended with a score of 2-2. While the Engineers outshot Babson 12-7 in the first half, both teams took far fewer shots in the second half with Babson outshooting MIT 5-4. Like the first half, goalie Jake L. Amereno ’16 made one save while Babson’s goalie made two, forcing the game into overtime. Even during overtime, both goalies made tremendous saves, so neither team was able to make a goal. With the game resting on penalty kicks after neither team had scored during overtime, Fijan sent the ball flying to the lower left corner, allowing MIT to advance to the finals after a 5-4 victory.
Gaining momentum from their semifinals match, the Engineers, led by Ben A. Lewis ’14, shut out third-seeded Springfield College 2-0. After a goal-saving block by Lewis that would have given the opponent a 1-0 lead less than ten minutes in, MIT took two straight goals to pull ahead. Bingham took advantage of a nice feed from sophomore Nick A. Diamantoni and scored the first goal of the game. Just three and a half minutes later, Tyler S. Singer-Clark ’14 passed the ball to Jonathan K. Tebes ’14 who shot the ball into the upper right corner, giving MIT a 2-0 lead. For the rest of the game, the Engineers held their ground, and with such a strong defense, did not allow a single goal from Springfield though several attempts were made. This impressive victory marks the team’s first-ever NEWMAC championship title. Along with the league title, MIT Men’s Soccer was automatically invited to the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament.