September 21, 2013

MIT Men's Soccer Opens NEWMAC Play with Win against Emerson

BOSTON, Mass. - In the first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game of the season for both teams, the MIT men's soccer team defeated league newcomer Emerson College with a score of 5-1. The Engineers were led by freshman Kareem Itani (Dallas, Texas) and sophomore Sean Bingham (Garden City, N.Y.), who, between the two of them, scored all five of MIT's goals. Tech is now 4-3 for the season and 1-0 in NEWMAC play, while the Lions are 3-3 and 0-1 in conference games.

Just two minutes into the first half, Itani scored his first goal of the season when he streaked down the right side of the field and shot the ball to the top left corner of the net, giving MIT a 1-0 lead right from the beginning. With six more shots by the Engineers, two of which had to be saved by keeper Carter Bowers, MIT notched two more goals within a minute of each other. At 23:17, Bingham shot the ball to the back left corner of the net and, at 24:56, Itani scored off a free kick following an Emerson foul, shooting the ball from the middle of the box to the back left corner. Both goals were assisted by senior Matthew Monheit (Abington, Pa.).

Starting the second period with a score of 2-0, the Engineers looked to further their lead. At the 54 minute mark, Itani scored his third goal when he chipped the ball over the goalie's hands. No more than 15 minutes later, Bingham also scored his second goal of the game when the ball that he previously kicked at the net rebounded off Bowers, giving the sophomore another chance to lob the ball at the net. The ball flew into the top right corner of the net, giving Tech a 4-0 lead with less than 20 minutes remaining in the game.

Junior goalkeeper Sam Cannon (Scarsdale, N.Y.), who spent all 90 minutes in net and earned the win, had a handful of close calls in the next few minutes. At the 82 minute mark, with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, Emerson's Elais Romanos scored the Lions' lone goal of the game, receiving a cross from Jesse Senger and sending it to the back left corner of the net. Cannon only had to make one more save, while Bowers made two but time elapsed before Emerson was able to score another goal.

Tech outshot the Lions 30-15, with Cannon making six saves compared to Bowers' nine. Cannon is now 1-1 for the season. Itani and Bingham led MIT with their eight shots apiece. Sophomore Austin Freel (San Diego, Calif.) followed with three shots on goal.

MIT will host its first home game in the last three weeks when NEWMAC rival Babson College comes to town for a game on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 4:00 p.m.