CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On the final day of regular season conference games, the MIT men's soccer team secured its first regular season title in a decade with its 4-0 win over New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe WPI on a beautiful, warm November Saturday. Tech improved to 13-3-1 on the season and 6-0-1 in conference play, while the WPI Engineers dipped to 11-4-1 and 3-4. With this win, MIT will head into the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament as the #1 seed and the host.
With this being a very crucial conference matchup for both sets of Engineers, the game got off to an aggressive start, with both teams battling for possession. Less than 10 minutes into the first half, senior Matthew Monheit (Abington, Pa.) took a shot at the net that went past goalkeeper Jeff Wong but was booted out by another WPI player, who just so happened to be waiting in the net.
Both Wong and sophomore goalie Jake Amereno (Commack, N.Y.) were kept very busy during the first 45 minutes, having to make multiple saves in a row. With just five minutes remaining in the first period, following a quick pass from junior Nicholas Diamantoni (Boca Raton, Fla.) to senior Jonathan Tebes (Hamden, Conn.), the ball was sent to sophomoreSean Bingham (Garden City, N.Y.), who buried the ball in the top left corner of the net for his 20th goal of the season. Tech went into the break with a 1-0 lead over WPI.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Monheit notched his seventh goal of the season when he received a pass from Tebes from the midfield and headed it past WPI's diving keeper to increase MIT's lead. The Cardinal and Gray were just getting started, though, and they went on to score two more goals within two and a half minutes of each other. Bingham found the back of the net for the second time when he shot from the far right of the night to the upper left, with the assist going to Monheit. At the 70 minute mark, following a scuffle in front of the WPI net, junior Alexander Dago (Chicago, Ill.) scored his third of the season following a pass from Bingham, kicking the ball past the defenders and into the left corner of the net.
WPI continued to fight for the remaining 20 minutes, taking three back-to-back shots at junior replacement goalie Sam Cannon (Scarsdale, N.Y.), but all three of them were saved. Wong only had to make two saves in the final minutes of the game before time elapsed.
MIT narrowly outshot WPI, 23-20. Wong singlehandedly saved 12 shots, while Amereno, who improved to 8-1-1 on the season, made 10 saves and Cannon had five. Bingham led Tech with his seven shots, four of which were on net.
As it is the top seed in the 2013 NEWMAC Tournament, which is set to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 6, MIT will receive a first round bye and will not play in its first game until the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Engineers will play the winner of the Springfield vs. Coast Guard game that will be played this coming Wednesday.