Courtesy of Wellesley College Sports Information
WELLESLEY, Mass. - Four different goal-scorers lifted the MIT field hockey team to a 4-2 victory over Springfield College in the 2009 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championship held at Wellesley College. The Engineers, the number-two seed, ousted the fourth-seeded Pride, the five-time defending NEWMAC Tournament Champions.
MIT opened the first half with a relentless attack, out-shooting Springfield 11-2. The Engineers got on the board in the eighth minute when Molly McShane threaded a pass through traffic to Danielle Smith, who knocked home her eighth goal of the season for a 1-0 MIT advantage. The Engineers then stretched the lead to 2-0 when Anna Teruya converted a penalty stroke in the 11th minute.
Springfield threatened on a penalty corner in the 16th minute of play, but Meg Bradley's shot was blocked and Alexa Carlson's attempt was saved by MIT's Keri Dixon to keep MIT ahead, 2-0. The Engineers added another score late in the first half, when a hard shot by McShane was deflected into the goal by Kameron Klauber, giving MIT a three-goal lead that would hold at the half.
The second half opened to more of the same heavy-hitting from MIT. Three straight penalty corners for the Engineers finally paid off when the last one saw Nirupama Yechoor find Kimberly Barker with a long pass into the corner of the cage. Barker put the ball in, and MIT increased their lead to 4-0.
With a four-goal deficit to make up in 30 minutes, Springfield turned up their offensive charge. After three shots and three penalty corners from the Pride, Carlson got Springfield on the board with a penalty stroke in the 50th minute, to narrow the lead to 4-1.
Springfield pressed on, out-shooting MIT 6-1 over the final 20 minutes of play, while also holding a 5-1 advantage in penalty corners. However, tight play from MIT's defense allowed just one more score from Springfield, a Kaila Dee goal, assisted by Morgan Rein, and the Engineers held on for the 4-2 victory.
Springfield's Anna Calano picked up six saves in goal, while MIT's netminder, Dixon, finished the afternoon with five stops.
MIT's season record stands at 17-4, as the Engineers earn their first NEWMAC Field Hockey Championship since 1994, and only their second overall. MIT earns the conference's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Championships and will await word on their tournament opponent. Springfield's overall record falls to 12-9.