Nov. 5, 2005
Wheaton College Sports Information
NORTON, Mass. - The No. 7 seed MIT men's soccer team extended its improbable run in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament as it upset No. 3 Clark University, 2-1, in semifinal action on Saturday. The loss was only the third of the season for the Cougars (13-3-2), while the Engineers improve to 9-8 heading into Sunday's title game against host Wheaton College at 1:00 p.m.
Clark controlled play for most of the half, with neither team getting many scoring opportunities. The Cougars got on the board in the 13th minute when Matthew Mattice sent a free kick to David Blum on the far post. Blum took the cross and the headed the ball into the back of the net for the lead. Two minutes later, Blum had a chance to extend Clark's lead, but a save from MIT keeper Thomas Caldwell kept the Engineers' deficit to one.
The momentum quickly shifted to Tech in beginning of the second stanza, as it applied offensive pressure of its own, resulting in several scoring opportunities. In the 62nd minute, MIT capitalized on its first corner kick of the match, as Ryan Sheffler served the ball to the far post and directly to David Nole's head for the game-tying tally. Christopher Desrochers had a chance to give the Engineers the lead a few minutes later, but his shot sailed high.
MIT posted the game-winning goal with 5:41 remaining in regulation when James Zorich found an open Sheffler at the top of the Cougar box. Sheffler launched a waist-high shot on net, but goalie Matt Talbot made a diving stop to turn the shot away. The rebound rolled to the far corner of the six-yard line, where Chase Lochmiller drove home the winning goal to catapult the Engineers to the upset victory.
Caldwell was credited with a pair of saves in the win, while Talbot finished with three stops for the Cougars.
Sunday's championship game between MIT and Wheaton marks a rematch of the 2003 NEWMAC Tournament final that the Lyons won, 3-1. Both squads qualified for the NCAA Tournament and met in the national quarterfinal round, with Wheaton advancing to the semifinal following a 1-0 win.