Engineers Improve to 7-0, Win Betty Richey Tournament

Part of release courtesy of Vassar College Sports Information 

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The MIT field hockey team won a pair of games over the weekend to win the Betty Richey Tournament hosted by Vassar College and improve its ledger to 7-0, the best start in program history. The seven-game win streak is one short of the Institute record, set during a 13-3 campaign in 1995. The Engineers opened the weekend with a 3-2 win over Manhattanville on Saturday and followed that up by besting the host Brewers by the same score Sunday to capture the tournament title for the first time. 

On Sunday, Tech scored all of its three goals in a nine minute span of the opening period and held off a furious effort by Vassar for a 3-2 championship victory in the 21st edition of the tournament. All of MIT's offense, which proved enough, came in the first half. The Engineers got two first half goals from freshman Kimberly Barker, who was named the Tournament MVP and a third goal by junior Danielle Smith.  Those goals were clumped together, beginning at the 7:50 mark when Barker scored her first tally on a breakaway following a long feed from the defensive third.

Barker's second tally, which was assisted by Smith, followed a rush toward goal. When Vassar goalie, Rachel Clarkin-Breslin, came out to stop the attack, Barker juked around her for the game's second goal at 14:28. Smith pushed the MIT lead to 3-0 slightly less than three minutes later with a goal in traffic in front of the cage.

The Brewers had two golden opportunities to stem that assault as senior forward Jennie McAllister had back-to-back shots snuffed by MIT's junior goalie Keri Dixon, who made five saves in the game, perhaps none bigger than those against McAllister. Playing her best game of the season, McAllister had four shots on goal.

With eight minutes left in the first half, Vassar solved Dixon's riddle. Freshman Rebecca Smith notched her first career goal, following up a deflected save, to cut the MIT lead to 3-1. Despite an aggressive second half, Vassar couldn't slice into the MIT lead until the game had ended, albeit on a foul. Sophomore Katy Hwang scored her second goal of the season following a penalty corner to a 3-2 finale.

Vassar's midfield game was relentless in the second half. The Engineers didn't produce a single shot on goal, but the Brewers could only muster two shots. Until the last play, neither team had a shot on cage for the final 25 minutes.

On Saturday afternoon, MIT scored two goals in the first half and held off a second half Manhattanville comeback to win 3-2 and move on to the championship game.

The Engineers got goals from Anna Teruya and Kimberly Barker within the first 15 minutes of the first half and appeared in control, taking that 2-0 lead into halftime. The game was much more even in the second half, however, as Manhattanville out-shot MIT 8-2. The Valiants cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Jen Ascencio with 16:14 to play. MIT went ahead 3-1 on a goal by Kameron Klauber less than four minutes later, but Manhattanville again cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal by Kayla Meenan. MIT held off several Manhattanville threats in the final ten minutes to hold on for the win and stay undefeated.

In addition to Tournament MVP Barker, freshman midfielder Molly McShane, junior defenseman Alex Wright and goalie Dixon also received All-Tournament nods.

Tech will now be off for more than a week before returning to action at Nichols on September 22 where it will try to match the program record for consecutive wins.