Hellerman's 11 Saves Propels Women's Soccer to Scoreless Draw with Nationally-Ranked MIT

Lili Hellerman - WPI Women's Soccer 2022

WORCESTER -- Junior goalkeeper Lili Hellerman (Ashland, MA) posted a career-high 11 saves to help host WPI earn a critical point by playing nationally-ranked MIT to a scoreless tie in a NEWMAC women's soccer matchup played on a chilly Tuesday evening on H.Carr Field at Alumni Stadium. 

The Crimson and Gray are now 5-6-3 on the season and 1-3-3 in league play, while Cambridge's Engineers, who are ranked 21st in the latest United Soccer Coaches Top 25, move to 12-4-2 overall and 6-1-1 in NEWMAC action.  More importantly, WPI is just one point out of a NEWMAC Tournament berth with three matches remaining, including the season finale versus Coast Guard, the team directly in front of them. 

Remarkably MIT is now 49-3-4 overall in NEWMAC regular season play since the start of the 2016 season with two of the three losses and three of the four ties coming against WPI.  In other words, MIT is 1-2-3 versus WPI during that span and an eye-popping 48-1-1 against the rest of the conference.  

The first half saw plenty of opportunities, the best of which arguably was from MIT's Karenna Groff (Weston, MA) who nailed a shot off the crossbar at 26:40.  The hosts held slight edges in both shots (8-6) and corners (5-3) with WPI's Grace Casey (Winchester, MA) and Groff accounting for four shots each. 

The guests stepped up the pressure to open the second half, tallying nine straight shots over the opening 25 minutes, including a trio from Groff and a pair of bids by Meagan Rowlett (Dana Point, CA) but Hellerman was up to the challenge making six saves alone during the MIT surge. 

The homestanding Engineers weathered the MIT storm and accounted for the only two shots - by Molly Vincent (Douglas, MA) and Hannah Wolfgang (Holliston, MA) - over the next 10 minutes of action.  The visitors accounted for the only shots in the last 10 minutes, with the final one by Ashley English (Sheboygan, WI) off a corner with under two to play but the final threat was smothered by Hellerman. 

The blanking was Hellerman's second 0-0 clean sheet in the last three matches, and her 3rd career shutout.  Ava Gillikin (Flemington, NJ) and Lauren Castle (Ridgefield, CT) split the shutout in net for MIT with Gillikin making three saves in the first half and Castle one stop in the final 45 minutes. 

The visiting Engineers finished with a 17-10 advantage in shots and a slight 6-5 edge in corners.  Groff topped all players with eight shots, twice as many as the next highest individual total. 

WPI closes out its home schedule on Saturday when it honors its nine seniors before hosting Mount Holyoke at noon.  MIT is also back on the field on Saturday, entertaining Coast Guard in a 1pm contest.