Women's Soccer Draws With Nationally-Ranked MIT in NEWMAC Championship Rematch

Kristen McCrea

Cambridge, MA --- The WPI and MIT women's soccer teams each scored a goal in a double overtime stalemate Tuesday at Steinbrenner Stadium. The rematch of last year's conference championship, along with results around the league, saw MIT secure an outright NEWMAC regular season championship for the third time in four seasons.

The host Engineers, ranked No. 13 by the United Soccer Coaches, move to 16-1-1 and 8-0-1 as Worcester's Engineers conclude the evening 10-5-3 and 4-3-2. 

The game was scoreless over the opening 75 minutes of action before MIT broke the 0-0 draw. Cambridge's Engineers were awarded a corner kick on the left side of the field as sophomore Claire O'Callaghan (Sherborn, MA) took it. O'Callaghan's ball sailed into the box and found the head of classmate Allie Werner (Tyler, TX), who registered her fifth goal of the season to give MIT the 1-0 lead.

Just three minutes later, the visiting WPI Engineers found the equalizer. Sophomore Kristen McCrea (Weymouth, MA) forced a turnover near midfield and after fighting with an MIT defender had a 1-on-1 opportunity with keeper Lily Mueller (Lakeville, MN). McCrea shot the ball from the far side and roped her ninth goal of the year into the upper left corner of the net to tie the game.

Both teams had chances to end the game in regulation before it went to overtime. MIT's O'Callaghan made WPI keeper Gabriela Hoops (Stonington, CT) made a save in the 81st minute, while McCrea put two shots on net – one in the 86th minute and one as time expired in regulation – and both were saved by Mueller to send the game to overtime.

With the wind at their backs, Cambridge's Engineers had the two best chances in the first overtime session. In the 95th minute, Montana Reilly (Los Angeles, CA) crossed the ball to NEWMAC Offensive Athlete of the Week and United Soccer Coaches Division III Player of the Week Olivia Struckman (Scottsdale, AZ), who was positioned inside the box, but a WPI defender cleared it out in front of Hoops. Then with 1:58 left in the first overtime, MIT junior Shannon Miller (Pittsford, NY) took a shot from about 20 yards away as she drove towards net, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

When the team's switched sides for the second overtime session, WPI had the better of the opportunities. Mari Bailey (North Providence, RI) had her shot deflected by the MIT backline and McCrea had a wide open shot off a feed by Sophie Gomarlo (Swanzey, NH), but McCrea's shot went just to the left of the near post. MIT made one final push towards the net, but it wasn't enough as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The team statistics were nearly identical for both squads as MIT edged WPI in shots (22-21), while WPI held a 7-6 edge in corner kicks. Mueller (15-1-1) made six saves for MIT, while Hoops (7-3-2) stopped the ball 11 times for WPI.

MIT plays in its final regular season match on the road on Saturday, October 28 at Emerson College beginning at 4pm, while WPI heads to Springfield College on the same day at 1pm, for its last regular season match prior to the NEWMAC Tournament beginning the following weekend.

Release Courtesy MIT Sports Information