Willer Turns Away 10 as WSoccer's Upset Bid Falls Short at MIT

Maddie Willer

Cambridge, MA --- MIT's Emily Kuo and Lauren Hernley netted goals in the last seven minutes to help the hosts defeat upset-minded WPI 2-0 in a NEWMAC women's soccer contest played Tuesday afternoon.  MIT, the defending NEWMAC Tournament champions, is now 9-2 this fall and 3-1 in conference action while WPI falls to 3-8-1 overall and 1-3 in NEWMAC play. 

After attacking the WPI goal all afternoon and firing 22 shots, MIT finally were rewarded when the ball was cleared straight to junior forward Kuo, who ripped a shot right back at WPI goalie Maddie Willer (Penfield, NY).  Willer could only get a hand on the ball but could not stop it from blasting into the net behind her. It was the seventh goal of the season for Kuo.

The score forced the visitors to chase the game and hope for a late equaliser, which opened up the counter-attack for MIT. Just three minutes after scoring, Kuo found Alisha Lussiez streaking along the right flank. Lussiez centered the ball brilliantly for Hernley who slotted it past Willer to double the home team's advantage. Kuo and Lussiez picked up the assists, their sixth and fifth, respectively.

MIT had several chances to open the scoring in the first half but were unable to seize the opportunity. Eight minutes in, Andrea Park unleashed a shot from distance which appeared to hit the back of the goal, but was pushed over the top by Willer, who had 10 saves on the afternoon.

At the 21 minute mark, Kuo poked a right footer just over the bar from close distance and a minute later Lussiez couldn't finish a setup from Hernley, sliding the ball just wide of the net. Claire DeRosa also had a shot on goal 16 minutes from half and the ball was spilled for a second by Willer before being nestled away from a lurking Lussiez.

Early in the second, Kuo was denied on a double-save by Willer and Hernley saw a high voltage shot stopped.

The best chance for the visiting Engineers was at the end of the first half, when Kristen Garza (Kingston, MA) swung a cross in on the MIT goal. Sophomore Meghan Wright dived off of her line and snatched the ball out of the air, not allowing Megan Forti (Lynn, MA) to have a crack in front of the net.

Wright made one save to pick up her seventh shutout of the season.

MIT will play an important home test on Saturday against Wheaton College. WPI will look to rebound Saturday when they host Springfield College.

Majority Release Courtesy MIT Sports Information