Men's Soccer Edges Clark, 1-0
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT men's soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to 10 following a 1-0 victory over Clark University in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Saturday. Jonathan Tebes registered the lone goal of the contest in the 74th minute for the Engineers, who are currently ranked No. 7 in the latest NCAA New England Regional poll.
The first half was a defensive battle although MIT (10-2-1, 4-0-1 NEWMAC) had a 10-2 advantage in shots and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks. Baran Doenmez nearly put the Cougars (5-7-2, 1-2-2 NEWMAC) on the board when he was awarded a free kick just outside the box early in the half. However, his low shot was smothered by MIT goalie Dylan Rankin. Clark almost struck again with 18 minutes remaining in the frame courtesy of a bending free kick by William Van Noppen from 30 yards out. Doenmez redirected the ball, but Rankin hauled in the save.
Christian Therkelsen tested Clark netminder Alphonso Alvarez on the ensuing counter attack with a bouncing shot, but Alvarez denied the scoring opportunity. With less than five minutes to play in the half, MIT's Ben Lewis sent a throughball which was initially stopped by a charging Alvarez. Therkelsen corralled the loose ball and managed to get a shot off which was turned away by the defense. Zachary Kabelac gathered the rebound but his follow up was off target.
Early in the second stanza, Kabelac and Doenmez both had breakaways but their shots were just wide of the net. Alvarez came up with a pair of big saves on a left-footed strike by Matthew Monheit and then a curving blast from Therkelsen.
In the 67th minute, Van Noppen sent a dangerous free kick from 40 yards away that bent around the defense. Unfortunately Clark was unable to capitalize and put a shot on goal.
The Engineers ended the deadlock in the 74th minute when Tebes took the ball away from Trevor Hendry in the Cougars' backfield. Facing just Alvarez, Tebes sent a low shot that grazed the inside of the far post and bounced in for his third marker of the season.
Down the stretch, Alvarez denied Chase Anderson on a pair of point blank attempts helping keep Clark within striking distance. The Cougars maintained possession during the final minutes of play, but the Cardinal and Gray's defense was impenetrable.
Rankin finished the day with three saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season while Alvarez collected seven saves in his first appearance of the year.
Next up for MIT will be its regular-season finale on Saturday, Oct. 30 when it hosts conference foe Wheaton College. Clark returns home on Wednesday, Oct. 26 for a non-conference tilt with Framingham State College.