September 12, 2007

Bishara's 78th Minute Winner Lifts MIT Over Tufts, 2-1

Sept. 12, 2007

Box Score

Courtesy Tufts University Sports Information

MEDFORD, Mass. - Engineers' captain Andrew Bishara tallied the game-winning goal in the 78th minute of a tightly contested match with non-conference foe Tufts University on Tuesday evening, as MIT downed the Jumbos, 2-1. The decisive strike came less than seven minutes after freshman phenom Christian Therkelsen had tied the contest up with his fifth goal in three games.

With the victory, the Engineers remain perfect at 3-0-0, marking the squad's most prolific start to a season since 2001, when the Cardinal and Gray won its first four matches. The loss drops Tufts, a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, to 0-1-1.

Though the teams played a scoreless first half, the action was anything but dull. The Jumbos fired nine shots towards Tech keeper Tom Caldwell's net, six of which forced the East Berlin, Pa., native into saves. The traffic certainly wasn't all one way, however, as Tufts goalie David McKeon was forced into four stops of his own in the opening 45 minutes.

It was the Jumbos who ultimately broke the deadlock early in the second half, as Bear Duker's long pass off of a free kick near midfield found senior tri-captain Greg O'Connell, who finished to put Tufts in front, 1-0. O'Connell has scored all three of his team's goals through the first two games of the season.

MIT pulled even in the 71st minute when Therkelsen, the reigning NEWMAC Player of the Week, headed home an unassisted tally following a Tufts turnover at the top of the box. The rookie has now scored in each of his first three intercollegiate games to give him a conference-leading total of five goals.

Bishara's game-winner also came via a header, as he nodded home a free kick from freshman Matt Talpe.

Duker hit the post late on for the Jumbos, but the hosts were ultimately unable to find an equalizer.

Caldwell finished with eight saves for the Cardinal and Gray and maintained his impressive 1.00 goals-against-average, while McKeon ended the night with four stops.

The Engineers will return to Steinbrenner Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 15, when they will host Clark University in each team's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference opener at 10:30 a.m. Tufts will also return to the field on Saturday, as they will welcome conference opponent Middlebury College to Bello Field at 1:00 p.m.