Engineers Grind Out 18-13 Win over Wellesley

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Holding a one-goal advantage midway through the second half, MIT's Stephanie Leger won the first of four straight draw controls helping spark a 5-1 run that secured an 18-13 victory over Wellesley College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse game on Tuesday afternoon. Leger finished with a game-high 11 draw controls, just one shy of tying the Institute record, and also posed two of her three goals during the late spurt. Jenny Holland paced the Blue with five goals as its ledger dipped to 7-5 on the year and 1-2 in conference play.

Katie Kauffman became the 12th player in MIT history to register 100 career points courtesy of a pair of assists. Laura Wacker led the attack with six goals as Erica Little notched four goals and two assists. Kelly Duncan totaled three goals and an assist while Kaitlyn Nealon chipped in two goals. Alex Wright tallied four groundballs, three draw controls, and two caused turnovers as Sarah Ritter collected seven saves.

Allison Robbins recorded three goals, two assists, and six draw controls for Wellesley while Meagan Fuchs added two goals and an assist. Meredith Roy contributed one goal and two assists as Britt Mscisz had a goal and an assist. Kate Lonergan rounded out the scoring for the visitors with a goal while Nicole Labbee tacked on four groundballs and two caused turnovers. In net, Mary Mattia turned away nine shots.

MIT opened the game with three straight goals before Holland connected on a feed from Robbins to put the visitors on the board at the 20:26 mark. Nealon won the ensuing draw and sprinted right to the next for her second marker of the frame. Wellesley countered with three consecutive goals to even the contest at four midway through the frame.

Each side found the back of the net during the next minute, but the Engineers increased their margin to 7-5 with back-to-back goals. The Blue responded with another three-goal spurt to close out the half and claim an 8-7 edge at the intermission. Roy started the rally with an unassisted marker and then set up Holland for the equalizer with five minutes left on the clock. Robbins ended the frame by picking up a groundball on the defensive side and sprinting toward the goal, burying her shot just as time expired.

Despite the momentum shift late in the first half, the Engineers kicked off the second stanza with Leger winning the draw and scoring after 12 seconds elapsed. A pair of goals from Wacker sandwiched a solo strike by Duncan, giving MIT a lead it would not relinquish.

Wellesley wasted little time in trimming its deficit to one (11-10) as Holland notched a free-position shot and Robbins took the ensuing draw to goal. The Engineers replied with goals from Little and Wacker less than a minute apart to gain some breathing room. However, Fuchs and then Robbins closed the gap to one (13-12) and forced MIT to use a timeout with 14:38 on the clock.

Following the break, Leger won the draw control and later connected on a pass from Duncan to ignite a four-goal run. Mscisz registered an unassisted goal with 3:59 left to play, but the Blue would get no closer as Wacker capped the scoring with under two minutes remaining.

Both squads continue NEWMAC play on Saturday, April 16. MIT (8-3, 2-1 NEWMAC) will host Springfield College in its final regular season home game while Wellesley will travel to Smith College.