CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Two first-half goals helped propel MIT to a 2-0 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in a NEWMAC men's soccer game on Saturday morning. The Engineers picked up their first conference win of the season, improving to 1-3-0, and evened their overall record at 6-6-0. The Bears, meanwhile, saw their ledger dip to 1-3-1 in the NEWMAC and 4-7-1 on the year.
MIT wasted little time applying pressure on Coast Guard goalie Will Leffler as sophomore Matthew Monheit's (Abington, Pa.) bouncing shot from eight yards away forced him to make a diving stop at the far post after five minutes expired. Following a battle for possession in the midfield, the Engineers opened the scoring in the 20th minute. From the far side, sophomore Jonathan Tebes (Hamden, Conn.) lobbed a 30-yard pass that sailed through the box and resulted in Leffler, a defender, and Monheit drifting to the near post. Monheit managed to head the ball, which bounced in the box and then was pushed across the goal line to the far post courtesy of the windy conditions.
The Cardinal and Gray extended its lead to 2-0 eight minutes later on a solo effort by senior Zach Kabelac (Potomac, Md.). The forward dodged a pair of defenders on the far side and then caught Leffler off balance for the easy strike. The Bears' best opportunity to get on the board in the first half came on a breakaway by Tradd Lovern but he was called offsides from 25 yards out.
Coast Guard registered its first shot on goal in the 57th minute on a low rolling free kick by Brett Godiksen that went directly to freshman netminder Samuel Cannon (Scarsdale, N.Y.). MIT almost increased its margin moments later on a quick touch by Tebes at the near post but it was instantly scooped up by Leffler. The hosts continued to attack, recording a shot by junior Ben Lewis (West Hartford, Conn.) that rolled wide of the near post and a Monheit blast that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar during the final 10 minutes of action. The Bears nearly ended the shutout on a bouncing shot from Godiksen, but Cannon thwarted the attempt.
Making the first start in his career, Cannon finished with two saves. He also intercepted numerous crosses and throw-ins to deny Coast Guard a chance to end the shutout. Leffler finished the day with six saves for the visitors.
MIT returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 22 at NEWMAC foe Clark University while Coast Guard will visit Eastern Connecticut State University on Tuesday, Oct. 18.