November 3, 2012

Men's Soccer Advances to Finals of NEWMAC Championship

WELLESLEY, Mass. - At the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinals against #1 seeded Babson on Saturday morning, MIT men's soccer advanced in penalty kicks, 5-4, after finishing the double overtime period tied at 2-2. Junior Andrew Fijan (West Chester, Pa.) converted the decisive penalty kick to help the Engineers move on to the championship finals on Sunday at 1:00 p.m., where they will face Springfield to vie for the title.

MIT got off to a strong start when sophomore John Kramer (Glastonbury, Conn.) and freshman Sean Bingham (Garden City, N.Y.) scored a goal apiece three minutes apart, giving the Engineers a 2-0 lead just 16 minutes into the game. Kramer shot to the upper right corner of the net from about 15 yards away, while Bingham, who received a cross from fellow freshman Austin Freel (San Diego, Calif.), beat both the defender and the keeper to a loose ball and shot to the upper right corner, tallying his 14th goal of the season. By the 29th minute mark, however, Babson had tied the game up, scoring two goals in a ten minute span.

The Engineers outshot the Beavers, 12-7, in the first half. Keeper Jackson Klein made two saves while freshman goalie Jake Amereno (Commack, N.Y.) only had one save.

In the second period, both teams took far fewer shots, with Babson outshooting MIT this time, 5-4. Like during the first half, Klein made two saves and Amereno made one, leaving the score at 2-2 at the end of the half, forcing the game into overtime.

Both MIT and Babson took two shots apiece in the first overtime period. In the 96th minute, the Beavers had a great chance at a goal in the form of a shot fired by Eric Anderson, but Amereno made a tremendous save by diving to the right, keeping the score tied. The Engineers outshot the Beavers in the second ten minute period, 5-2, three of which were saved by Klein. Because neither team netted another goal and the score was still 2-2, the game went to penalty kicks. Freel, Bingham, sophomore Alex Dago (Chicago, Ill.) and senior Ben Lewis had already converted penalty kicks, as had Babson, leaving both teams with four. Fijan sent the ball flying to the lower left corner, ending the game with MIT advancing in PKs, 5-4.

MIT, which started the tournament in the fifth and final spot, will return to action tomorrow when it fights either #3 Springfield for the NEWMAC title at Babson at 1:00 p.m.