CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Behind career days from Alex Wright and Katie Kauffman, the MIT field hockey team won its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener over Clark University, 8-2, on Sunday afternoon. Wright tallied a career best four goals while Kauffman set a new program record with five assists to help the Engineers move to 6-1 on the season. Clark falls to 4-2 (0-1 NEWMAC) with the loss.
Wright opened the scoring early, converting a penalty corner pass from Kauffman just 5:11 into the game. It was the first goal of her four-year career, having spent the majority of her time on the back line of the Tech defense. Jessica Oleinik knocked home a bouncing rebound just over five minutes later to give the Cardinal and Gray a two-goal cushion.
Wright and Kameron Klauber found the back of the net within 30 seconds of each other just a few minutes later and Klauber added a second marker, her team leading sixth of the season, with just under 20 minutes remaining in the half.
The NEWMAC's leading scorer, Mel Melkonian, put the Cougars on the board late in the frame on a feed from Katherine Rowe.
Wright added her third and fourth goals in the second half and Molly McShane found the scoring column for the first time this season. Meghan Lennon capped the scoring with help from Erin Murphy.
Kauffman was credited with an assist on all four of Wright's goals and four of her five helpers came after she started a penalty corner opportunity.
Melkonian, the reigning conference Rookie of the Year, now has 11 goals in 6 games on the season and is among the national leaders in scoring.
The Engineers will be back in action on Wednesday, hosting Nichols College in a rematch of the teams' 2010 NCAA Tournament opening round contest. The game begins at 6:00 p.m. on Jack Barry Field. Clark travels to Western New England College on Thursday, September 23 for a 7:00 p.m. start.