CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT Men's Soccer and Clark University faced off in an aggressive battle to open NEWMAC play this afternoon on Roberts Field. When the dust finally settled, it was the Engineers who came out victorious by the narrow margin of 2-1.
For most of the first half, the defenses were impenetrable. Both teams managed to register shots but neither was capable of generating solid offensive opportunities.
The silence was broken in the 37th minute when MIT's Ben Lewis slipped the ball through two Clark defenders to sophomore Zachary Kabelac. Keeper Ryan King managed to redirect the shot with a diving block, but the ball still found the back of the net for Kabelac's team-leading tenth goal of the season.
In the 62nd minute, MIT Junior Christian Therkelsen sent a 30-yard free kick into the penalty area which found Adriel Fidone, who slipped a header past King for his first goal of the season.
Clark graduate student Mike Trobagis responded in the 73rd minute as he and teammate Gianluca Ranallo navigated through the MIT defense before Trobagis fired a laser across the net and out of reach of a diving Dylan Rankin in goal.
Clark made an emphatic push to try to tie the score, and as the clock wound down, tension and aggression escalated. The Cougars were whistled for seven fouls in the final 10 minutes as the Engineers' defense held off the charge and sealed the game.
Clark (5-3) next plays Wednesday, September 30, when it hosts the Lancers of Worcester State at 6 p.m. MIT (5-4) has the week off and hits the field again when it hosts conference rival Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, October 3 at 5 p.m.