September 8, 2007

Therkelsen's Hat Trick Powers MIT Past Rhode Island College, 3-2

Sept. 8, 2007

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Freshman sensation Christian Therkelsen emerged as MIT's offensive hero for the second consecutive game, as the Norwegian striker bagged all three goals in the Engineers' 3-2 victory over Rhode Island College on Saturday afternoon at Steinbrenner Stadium. The win served as a measure of revenge for the Cardinal and Gray, which was beaten soundly by the Anchormen, 4-1, early last season.

Therkelsen has now scored the decisive goal in each of his first two intercollegiate contests, as he netted the game-winner in the 2-0 season-opening triumph over Salve Regina University on Tuesday.

The scoring was started by MIT (2-0-0) in just the ninth minute on the first shot of the match. Junior midfielder Neil Zimmerman broke free down the right side, freeing himself enough to deliver a picture-perfect cross to the head of Therkelsen. The rookie made no mistake, re-directing his header across the face of goal and off the inside of the left post, giving Rhode Island keeper Dereck Loisel no chance.

The resilient Anchormen (2-2-0) also managed a goal on their first shot of the contest, leveling the score in the 27th minute when freshman midfielder Adam Philbin's cross from the left flank was side-footed home by fellow sophomore Jose Talavera. The strike was the first of the campaign for Talavera and left the halftime score line at 1-1.

MIT stormed out of the gates following the break, re-taking the lead with a pair of goals less than six minutes after the restart. Chase Lochmiller's excellent through ball caught the Rhode Island defense cold and led Therkelsen in on goal down the left side. The Nesbru, Norway native calmly rounded the keeper before finishing high past two back-tracking defenders in the 48th minute.

Therkelsen gave the Engineers a 3-1 cushion and completed his hat trick just over three minutes later, notching his fourth goal of the season after being played through by captain Andrew Bishara.

A frantic opening to the second half was completed 29 seconds later, as Anchormen captain Josh Silva cut the deficit to 3-2 with a powerful penalty kick. The junior finished high into the top right corner after a teammate was taken down in the box.

Rhode Island had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 80th minute, as an MIT defender was judged to have handled the ball in the penalty area, awarding the Anchormen a second spot kick. However, Silva's second penalty attempt was unsuccessful, as junior goalkeeper Tom Caldwell guessed left and was at full stretch to deny the effort and secure the 3-2 win.

Caldwell made three saves to earn the victory, while Loisel stopped two shots in defeat.

The Engineers will hit the road for the first time this season when they travel to Medford on Tuesday, Sept. 11, to take on Tufts University at 7:00 p.m. Rhode Island will also next play away from home at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, as it travels to New London, Conn., to face off against New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference member Coast Guard.