Field Hockey Earns Thrilling Comeback Win Over MIT in OT, 2-1

Celena Dopart

WPI 2, MIT 1 (OT)

Box Score 

Worcester, MA ---  Senior Kelly Johnson (Buxton, ME)  scored the equalizer with just 1:26 to go in regulation and Celena Dopart (Washington, DC) broke the deadlock with the game-winner 4:05 into overtime to give WPI a thrilling 2-1 victory over visiting MIT in NEWMAC Field Hockey action on Saturday afternoon. The win gives WPI its first conference win of the season (1-0), improving to 7-1 overall. MIT falls to 7-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

The Crimson and Gray were kept off the scoreboard for most of the game before getting on the board late in the second half. Senior midfielder Jackie McDonough (Winchester, MA)  nearly tied the score with six minutes to play, but was denied on a breakaway opportunity by MIT goalkeeper Keri Dixon (Bethlehem, PA). The Engineers kept the pressure on however, in an attempt to tie the score before time ran out. The WPI offense earned a corner with under 90 seconds to play in regulation, setting up Johnson's game-tying heroics. Maggie Wigley (Bridgewater, MA) took the corner, which was stick-stopped by Dopart and smashed into the back of the MIT net by Johnson for the equalizer. The goal was Johnson's team-high fifth of the year.

WPI staved off a late MIT rally to send the game into overtime.

WPI controlled the ball for the first few minutes of the overtime period, leading to the winning goal. McDonough intercepted the ball and moved it deep into MIT territory before sending a cross in front of the goal mouth and connecting with Dopart, who powered a shot past Dixon for WPI's fifth consecutive win.

MIT jumped out to the early lead in the first half on a Kimberly Barker (Camden, NY) goal 3:28 into the contest, assisted by Katie Kauffman (Olney, MD). The goal was Barker's team-leading 10th of the season. Dixon made five saves for the visitors. Allie Griffin (Billerica, MA) made nine saves for the hosts.

MIT held a decided advantage in penalty corners, 15-6, in the game. The Cambridge Engineers outshot their Worcester counterparts 13-11, although WPI took the five of the final six shots of the game as momentum shifted in the hosts' favor.

WPI hits the road for its next contest, when they will take on Nichols this Tuesday evening at 7pm in Dudley.  MIT is also on the road on Tuesday night at 7pm when they will face Endicott.

Story by Ray Cotrufo - WPI Athletics Correspondent