CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Kevin Nowak's first goal of his intercollegiate career was a timely one as it came with 3:37 left in regulation, lifting visiting Springfield College to a 1-0 victory over MIT in the NEWMAC men's soccer opener for both squads on Saturday.
The first half was relatively quiet as the Engineers had a 3-1 edge in shots, two of which were stopped by goalie Brett Bascom, and a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
MIT nearly ended the deadlock on several occasions during the first 15 minutes of the second stanza. With the ball in the box, freshman John Kramer (Glastonbury, Conn.) spun around to get loose and then unleashed a low shot that was turned away by Bascom. A few minutes later, a header by junior Ben Lewis (West Hartford, Conn.) went over the crossbar. The Engineers then had three touches during a scramble in front of the goal but they could not capitalize on the opportunity.
The Pride's best attempt to get on the board came with 15 minutes on the clock. Danny Amato passed to Drew Vanasse on the near side with only junior goalie Dylan Rankin (Providence, R.I.) to beat, but his shot was wide at the far post. On the counterattack, Lewis sent a low strike that was stopped by Bascom. In a sign of things to come, Nowak had a blast that was stopped by Rankin's leg in the 81st minute. Shortly thereafter, Scott Donofrio and Scott Morneault set up Nowak for the game-winning goal, a low roller from the far side. The Engineers' attack was relentless down the stretch, registering three shots, one on goal, and a corner kick, but they were unable to score the equalizer.
Rankin finished the day with two saves while Bascom collected seven.
MIT (4-1-0, 0-1-0 NEWMAC) returns to action on Monday, Sept. 19 when it travels to Brandeis University. Springfield (4-0-2, 1-0-0 NEWMAC) takes the field the next day at Endicott College.