MIT Women's Soccer Sinks Coast Guard 4-1
The MIT Women's Soccer Team (8-4, 3-1) continued its home dominance on Saturday with a 4-1 victory of the US Coast Guard Academy (4-8, 0-4). The team is 5-1 at home this year at Steinbrenner Stadium.
With the victory, MIT moves into a three-way tie for second place in the NEWMAC conference.
The future of MIT Women's soccer was on full display on Saturday with freshmen having a hand in three of the four goals.
After going down 1-0 in the 13th minute of the game and then tying the game 1-1 two minutes later, freshman Julia Roberts helped MIT go ahead for good late in the first half when she worked a great combination with junior striker Amy Ludlum. Julia knocked a perfectly weighted pass just around a Coast Guard defender and Amy ran onto the ball through the backline and slid it home off the far post into the net.
Freshman striker Liz Theurer knocked in her seventh goal of the season shortly into the second half after gathering a slotted ball from Amy. With a Coast Guard defender draped over her back Liz was able to control the ball and slip it by the goalie to extend MIT's lead to 3-1. Liz now has 17 points on the season.
Freshman midfielder Katie Pesce, who has impressed all year with her defensive toughness in the midfield, finally opened her goal scoring account with her first collegiate goal late in the game. Gathering a pass from Amy, Katie showed nice control in spinning the ball toward goal and ripping a shot from just inside the area that skirted through the fingers of the Coast Guard goalkeeper.
Senior midfielder Ashleigh Leonard had a solid game in the center of the field, helping control possession with her touch and distribution. Ash was very effective at switching the ball through the backline and taking advantage of the large space left by Coast Guard on the weak side flank. Ash also added her fourth assist of the year on the game-tying goal. After making a great overlapping run on the right flank, she gathered a pass from Liz and lofted a perfect cross into the box to a waiting Amy, who flicked it on into the back of the net. Ash has two goals and four assists for eight points this year.
Senior midfielder Andrea Staid was very dangerous all game against Coast Guard, showing her speed up the flanks and strong leg. Dre had four shots on the day, several of them from close range, but she was unable to find the back of the net. Junior Janine Hopmans also had a good game on the outside of the midfield, running herself ragged and taking advantage of Coast Guard's slow outside backs, getting wide and crossing dangerous balls into the box.
Sophomores Kat Routhier and Andrea Bradshaw also contributed significant minutes in the midfield. Kat helped shore up the midfield when the team tried a 3-5-2 formation, playing in front of the backline and moving the ball around with her excellent touch. Jersey came in to relieve Janine and renewed the team's flank attack with her speed. She was able to get wide with the ball on several occasions and fed in several nice crosses.
After giving up a goal early, the defensive backline of senior captain Mary Harding, senior Chi-Fong Wang, junior Karen Davie and sophomore Jodie Wu regrouped and shut Coast Guard down for the rest of the game. The backs held Coast Guard without a shot in the second half. With the attack on, Karen and Jodie were both able to get forward from their outside back positions and jump start the offense with some good wide balls and crosses. Karen was particularly on point with a number of dangerous crosses into the penalty area.
Senior captain Kat Vater made three saves in collecting her sixth win of the season.
***Player of the Match***
Junior forward Amy Ludlum, "The Aminator" as her teammates call her, was a dominant offensive force yet again, involved in all four MIT goals against Coast Guard and a unanimous choice as Player of the Match. Amy had two goals and two assists on the day. Resetting her career mark on a game-by-game basis, Amy now has 13 goals and six assists on the year. Amy has been on the tear since the start of conference play on September 23. In that five game stretch, including one non-conference match, she has tallied 27 points. Her 32 points for the season leads all NEWMAC scorers by over a dozen points.
The MIT Women's Soccer Team faces a crucial conference battle on Tuesday against Springfield College (7-3, 3-1). The game will be held in Cambridge at 3:30 p.m.