CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first meeting since the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament semifinal last season, the MIT men's soccer team had an exciting 3-2 win over Babson at home on Saturday afternoon, with three goals being scored within three minutes at the end of the second half. Sophomore Austin Freel (San Diego, Calif.) tallied two goals, the second being the game-winner that was scored with just 50 seconds remaining on the clock. Tech is now 5-3 for the season and 2-0 in NEWMAC play, while the Beavers dipped to 7-3 and 1-1 in conference action.
Playing against an aggressive team, MIT made sure to start the game with intensity, gaining control of the ball early on in the first half. Freshman Joseph Han (Fairfax Station, Va.) got the first touch, sending a shot flying at the net that had to be saved by keeper Jackson Klein just two minutes into the game. At the six minute mark, a corner kick by senior Matthew Monheit (Abington, Pa.) was sent directly into the box but was punched out of play by Klein. At 7:59, following a clean cross from Monheit, Freel buried the ball in the top left corner of the net to give the Engineers' the lead.
Just one minute later, Babson scored the equalizer but the goal was disallowed following an offside call. At the 25 minute mark, Mike Fisher fired the ball at the net but it was pushed just wide of the net by sophomore goalie Jake Amereno (Commack, N.Y.). A few minutes later, junior Nicholas Diamantoni (Boca Raton, Fla.) streaked down the right side of the field past all defenders but the ball slowly trickled to the keeper.
Following an MIT foul, Babson was awarded a penalty kick with just nine minutes remaining in the half. The shot, which was taken by Brenden Matthews, was sent flying towards the lower right corner of the net but was saved by a diving Amereno, a save which proved to be very important for the Engineers. With seven minutes remaining on the clock, Bryan Rust got past Amereno and shot to the far right corner, tying the score going into the second half.
Five minutes into the second period, officials waved off yet another Babson goal following an offside call. Klein was kept busy during the second half, having to make five saves within a short amount of time. The ball switched possession multiple times during the next 20 minutes but the action really started to unfold in the 80th minute. At 83:58, Justin Laurenzo helped Babson take the lead when he tapped the ball into the net following a throw in by Patrick Ellis. A minute later, sophomore Joe Schuman (West Hartford, Conn.) tied the game following a cross from freshman Kareem Itani (Dallas, Texas). It looked as if the game would be sent into overtime, but, at 89:10, Freel knocked the ball into the right corner of the net after a corner kick from Monheit, giving the Engineers the goal they needed to win the game.
MIT outshot Babson, 22-10. Klein made nine saves while Amereno, who earned the win and is now 4-1 for the season, only had to save five. Freel led the Engineers with his seven shots.
Tech will continue with NEWMAC play, hosting the U.S. Coast Guard Academy next Saturday, Oct. 5 at 5:00 p.m.