CAMBRIDGE Mass. – The men's soccer team of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has won seven straight contests, the latest a 1-0 win over WPI on Saturday at Roberts Field in a battle of the Engineers.
Christian Therkelsen gave the Engineers the lead only eight minutes before halftime when he was played through on a pass by Jonathan Tebes. The senior captain from Nesbru, Norway slotted the ball past WPI keeper Paul Moan for his fourth goal of the season. Tebes grabbed his first helper of the year, to go with two goals already on the season. Therkelsen also has seven assists on the season and is tied with Zachary Kabelac for the team lead in points with 15.
Kabelac had a chance to open the scoring in the 22nd minute when his header from a Therkelsen corner bounced off of the crossbar. MIT took nine corners in the contest while the visitors never earned a free kick from the corner flag.
In the second half, the hosts fell into a defensive shell and were very efficient in protecting their one goal lead. MIT's best chance of the second half came when substitute Chase Anderson was played into space and found himself one on one against the goalkeeper. Anderson looked to be free on goal but good backtracking from the WPI defense forced a blocked shot that slid to the right of Moan, who made four saves in the defeat. Dylan Rankin also made four saves for MIT, none bigger than his stop on Matthew Wzorek in the dying minutes.
Wzorek, a senior defender found the ball on his foot with just over two minutes left in the game. From about 25 yards out, he unleashed a slicing kick through traffic and right on goal. Rankin made a sprawling save by diving to his left to keep the hosts on top and secure the victory.
The Engineers of MIT outshot their guests by an 18-5 margin and were definitely the more aggressive team. At times the aggressiveness came with a price as both Matthew Monheit and Anderson received yellow card warnings for reckless tackles.
After starting the season 1-2, MIT improves to 8-2 and 2-0 in NEWMAC play. It will now play three straight road games, starting Wednesday, Oct. 6 at Johnson and Wales University before finally returning home on October 23 to host Clark University. WPI will play this Wednesday at Elms College in a non-conference game and will try to improve on a record that drops to 3-5 (0-2 NEWMAC).