Women’s soccer loses in penalties

Amy Apostol ’19 scores two goals

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Amy A. Apostol ’19 battles a Springfield College player for control of the ball during last Saturday’s NEWMAC semifinal match. The Engineers lost to Springfield College in a penalty kick shootout 3-4.
Lenny Martinez—The Tech

The first-seeded MIT women’s soccer team saw its season come to a close in penalty kicks last Saturday afternoon against fourth-seeded Springfield College in the first of two New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinals matches at Steinbrenner Stadium on the campus of MIT on Saturday afternoon.

Tied at 2-2 after 110:00 minutes of action, the Engineers and the Pride headed to penalty kicks. Springfield hit four of its five shots to MIT’s three, which included the game winner by senior Jessica Miller, as the Pride sealed their spot in the NEWMAC Championship match tomorrow.

Both squads had early opportunities with MIT Jennifer Ibanez ’16 putting a shot on goal in the opening minute, but it was stopped short of the mark by sophomore goalkeeper Ciara Boucher for Springfield. Two minutes later the Pride had its first shot when Miller let one go that missed just to the left of the goal.

Springfield then found the mark on its next shot. Senior Nicole Fowler performed a flip throw in from the right side of the field five and a half minutes into the game as the ball came down in the MIT goal box at the feet of Miller, who was able to put in the back of the net for the first score of the game.

MIT nearly came up with the equalizer 19 minutes in when Allie Hrabchak ’19 broke in behind the Springfield defense and rifled off a shot, but Boucher came out to challenge and managed to deflect the ball away with her feet. Springfield got off four more shots on goal over the final 15 minutes of the half, but Lauren Ullmann ’17 saved them all to keep it a one-goal game at the break.

Like the first half, MIT had an early opportunity at the start of the second half, but this time it paid off. Olivia Struckman ’18 played the ball into the middle from the right side and found fAmy Apostol ’19, who turned it into the net to tie the game. Just two minutes later Fowler put Springfield back on top when she broke free 15 yards out from the goal, moved right, and fired a shot in to make it 2-1.

The Engineers found the game-tying goal at the 72:43 mark as Struckman fed the ball to Apostol, who buried her second tally of the contest, leaving the game even at 2-2, heading into extra time.

In the first overtime session, Struckman nearly potted the game winner just 2:24 in, but Boucher stood her ground in the box, which made for a second overtime period.

This time, Springfield came out with more urgency to score than it had in the first ten minutes of overtime. Only getting one shot off in the first OT frame, the Pride opened action in the second session with four consecutive shots, one saved by Ullmann and the others fluttering wide of the goal mouth.

Struckman, once again came alive in the second OT period as she closed the frame with a pair of shots, but neither team could find the back of the net, which sent the contest to decisive penalty kicks.

Apostol, Elizabeth Porter ’17 and Ibanez all hit their penalty shots for the Engineers, but it wasn’t enough as in the final round, Miller drove the winning shot into the back of the net that lifted Springfield to the victory (4-3 on penalties).

Ullmann made a season-high 12 saves for MIT, while Boucher stopped the ball seven times for Springfield. The Pride outshot the Engineers by a 29-15 margin and held a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks.

MIT (11-6-3) sees its season come to an end with the loss.