MIT Women's Soccer Ousted From NEWMAC Tournament
The MIT Women's Soccer Team (10-6-2) was knocked from the NEWMAC quarterfinals on Saturday by Babson College (9-4-5) in a heartbreaking 3-2 penalty kick shootout loss.
MIT senior captain goalkeeper Kat Vater made two saves in the penalty kick shootout and freshman Katie Pesce and junior Janine Hopmans knocked home their kicks, but it wasn't enough to keep Babson from advancing to face top-seeded Wheaton College in the NEWMAC semifinals next weekend.
MIT and Babson battled to a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes of regulation time. This was a familiar score line after MIT and Babson knotted their regular season match 1-1 last Tuesday. As the fourth seed in the NEWMAC tournament, MIT welcomed fifth-seeded Babson back on Saturday and the game played out very similar to the first contest with Babson coming out strong early and MIT surging late.
The teams battled through harsh driving rain and a soggy and water swollen field, particularly late in the contest.
After being out shot 11-2 in the first half and going down 1-0 early in the second half, MIT tightened down the screws and increased the pressure on Babson, holding the opponents to only four shots in the second half. Despite having to serve against the wind and rain, senior Andrea Staid delivered a perfect corner kick in the 58th minute that freshman forward Liz Theurer was able to head into the net, knotting the game at 1-1. The goal was Liz's 10th of the year and it was enough to get the team through two overtimes and into the
Senior captain Mary Harding and senior Chi-Fong Wang anchored the defense as they have done all year. Mary started off the match as a holding midfielder and then dropped back into central defense to help preserve the 1-1 score. Andrea Staid and sophomore Jodie Wu held down the outside back slots against Babson's quick three-forward alignment.
Senior Ashleigh Leonard led the midfielders, battling hard on the treacherous playing surface all match. Katie turned in a tough performance alongside Ash and also had a tremendous shot early in the game that ricocheted off the crossbar and almost gave MIT an early lead. Janine and sophomore Andrea Bradshaw played a full 110 minutes on the outside of the midfield giving it all and faced with a rotating Babson lineup.
Junior Amy Ludlum led the team in shots and had several just miss the mark, but was unable to find the back of the net for one of the few times all season. Freshman Julia Roberts entered the match to spell Liz up top in the first half.
***Player of the Match***
Seniors Kat Vater and Andrea Staid truly saved the best for last against Babson. Kat, who made a career high 15 saves against Babson last Tuesday, made another 11 against Babson on Saturday and really kept the team in the game. She also made two saves in the penalty shootout, including a critical save late in the
shootout that would have eliminated MIT. Dre dropped into an outside back position from her normal midfield role against Babson. She was excellent all match and proved extremely tough to beat both on the ground and in the air. Her excellent corner kick helped MIT come from behind and tie the game in the second
half and she also got forward late in regulation and lofted a dangerous shot that was just tipped wide of the net by Babson's goalkeeper. Both Kat and Dre truly left it on the field in their last collegiate game and inspired their teammates to name them both Player of the Match.
The MIT Women's Soccer Team wants to thank all its family and friends who turned out to support the team in harsh conditions on Saturday.