Balanced Attack Powers Field Hockey to 5-2 Win over Nichols

Junior Erin Kenney

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seven MIT players earned at least one point in a 5-2 victory over Nichols College in a non-conference field hockey game on Wednesday night. Senior Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) and junior Molly Duffy (New Providence, N.J.) both recorded a goal and an assist while senior Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) dished out two assists for the Engineers who improved to 6-2 on the year. Junior Amanda Broughton (Plymouth, Mass.) and sophomore Avery Orszulak (Springfield, Mass.) provided the offense for the Bison (4-3).

MIT opened the scoring on a breakaway after 3:50 expired when Barker sent a cross through the arc which Duffy turned into a high shot on the near side. Nichols controlled play during the next seven minutes as it earned four penalty corners which generated four shots on goal but sophomore netminder Jenna Klein (Parma, Ohio) kept the visitors off the board. The Engineers responded with five of their own penalty corners but only three produced shots and two were turned away by sophomore Molly Melanson (Simsbury, Conn.). The game became a back-and-forth affair until the 32nd minute when the Cardinal and Gray peppered Melanson five shots. Eventually, McShane corralled the loose ball and found Barker for the score with 1:41 left in the half.

The Engineers carried the momentum into the second stanza as they increased their advantage to 3-0 just 2:25 into the period. On a penalty corner, Duffy sent the ball to junior Maddy Wharton (Swarthmore, Pa.) at the top of the arc who fired a shot inside the far post. Both squads made several charges at the net with the Bison ending the shutout in the 46th minute. Following a penalty corner taken by sophomore Jenn Townsend (Wethersfield, Conn.), Broughton managed to unleash a shot during a scramble in front of the net.

MIT responded by capitalizing on a Nichols turnover in the 59th minute. With a 4-on-2 fastbreak, McShane drew the defense to the near side before passing the ball into the arc where freshman Isabella DiDio (Jenkintown, Pa.) tipped it into the far post. The Bison continued to attack, eventually narrowing the gap to 4-2 with 5:49 left to play when Orszulak tipped in the rebound off of a shot by Townsend. Nichols called a timeout following the goal, but the Engineers capped the scoring a minute later. In a 2-on-2 situation, Barker held on to the ball long enough to slip it behind the defense where freshman Molly McNamara (Auburn, Mass.) converted the open net tally.

Klein finished the night with eight saves for MIT while Melanson made 14 stops for Nichols as Broughton came up with a defensive save. The Engineers registered a 15-12 edge in penalty corners while out-shooting the Bison, 22-12.

Both squads return to conference play on Saturday, Sept. 21. MIT will host NEWMAC foe Clark University while Nichols will take on Western New England University in a TCCC home game.