September 4, 2007

MIT Blanks Salve Regina, 2-0, in Season-Opener

Sept. 4, 2007

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Freshman Christian Therkelsen made his intercollegiate debut a memorable one by scoring the game-winning goal in the 57th minute, as MIT opened the 2007 campaign with a 2-0 victory over visiting Salve Regina University on Tuesday afternoon at Steinbrenner Stadium. The win marked the eighth consecutive year in which the Engineers have earned maximum points from the season's opening fixture.

MIT (1-0-0) hasn't lost a season-opener since 1999, when it suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has now defeated Salve Regina (1-2-0) in its first match in two out of the past three years.

Junior captain Andrew Bishara nearly opened the scoring for the Cardinal and Gray in just the seventh minute, as he turned brilliantly on a long throw by sophomore Tim Humpton before rocketing a shot off the outside of the right post.

However, Bishara's effort would ultimately prove to be the best scoring chance for either side in the opening half, as the encounter quickly turned into a tense midfield battle. At the break, the teams had totaled just six shots combined, though MIT held a 5-1 advantage.

The second stanza was a different story altogether, however, as Tech pounded the Seahawks' net with a barrage of shots from all angles. It was Therkelsen that finally made the breakthrough for the Engineers, as his early second half strike gave MIT a lead that it wouldn't relinquish. Matt Greyson's driven corner found the foot of sophomore Adam Talsma towards the back post, who smartly played the ball down to Therkelsen's feet at the penalty spot. The rookie then turned and fired expertly past Salve Regina goalkeeper Kurt Ginthwain to give the Engineers a 1-0 lead.

MIT continued to maintain a majority of the possession, racking up a 17-1 second half shot advantage and creating a number of decent scoring opportunities for its efforts. However, Ginthwain stood tall in the Seahawks' net, making nine saves to keep Salve Regina in the match until the late-going.

It was Bishara who salted the game away for the Engineers in the 83rd minute, as he opened his 2007 account with a perfectly placed header from a James Zorich free kick.

Tech net-minder Tom Caldwell was forced to make just one save to earn his sixth career shutout.

The victory was the first in MIT colors for new head coach Milton Gooding since taking the reins from Walter Alessi, who stepped down this season after leading the Cardinal and Gray admirably for over 30 years.

The Engineers will return to the field on Saturday, Sept. 8, when they will host Rhode Island College at 3:00 p.m. The Seahawks will host Springfield College in their season-opener on that same afternoon at 1:00 p.m.