April 26, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Strong defensive play in the second half helped power MIT to a 9-6 victory over host Wellesley College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse game on Saturday. The win was the first for the Engineers since the series began in 1993 and it raised their record to 4-7 on the year and 3-3 in conference play.
Hayley Geller put Wellesley on the board just under two minutes into the contest, but Laura Watson tallied the equalizer at 26:43. A free-position shot by Colette Whitaker and an unassisted goal by Amber Evans within a span of 1:32 put the Blue ahead, 3-1. MIT responded with four straight goals, three by Samantha O'Keefe and another from Watson. Molly Morrow brought Wellesley within one (5-4) with 11 seconds remaining before halftime.
Watson opened the scoring in the second stanza by connecting on a feed from O'Keefe at the 24:12 mark. Geller cut the Blue's deficit in half (6-5) 30 seconds later, but that was as close as it would get as MIT's defense held the hosts scoreless for the next 20 minutes. During that span, Watson and O'Keefe each found the back of the net to give the Engineers an 8-5 lead with 11:17 left to play. Loretta White's solo effort kept Wellesley in the hunt, but Stephanie Leger sealed the win with an unassisted strike with 31 seconds on the clock.
O'Keefe paced MIT with four goals and one assist as Watson totaled six groundballs, five draw controls, four goals, and three caused turnovers. Stephanie Brenman posted three caused turnovers as Lauren Rodda racked up six groundballs. In net, Monique Squiers collected 11 saves, including seven during the second half.
The Cardinal and Gray earned the No. 5 seed for the NEWMAC Championship Tournament and will travel to No. 4 Wheaton College on Wednesday, April 30. Earlier this season, the Lyons edged out the Engineers, 17-16.