CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With many great opportunities for goals paired with amazing opposing defense to stand in the way, the #13 MIT women's soccer team fell to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Springfield College with a score of 1-0 on Robert's Field on Saturday afternoon. The Pride is now 6-2 for the season and 2-0 in NEWMAC play, while the Engineers dipped to 5-2-2 and 1-1 in conference action.
Both teams struggled for possession at the start of the game, with neither being able to settle before the ball was stolen away. Junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) started things off for the Engineers with a strong shot at the net three minutes into the first half but the effort was thwarted by keeper Lucy Gillett. Freshman goalie Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.) made back-to-back saves immediately after that but was not able to make a third, being brought far out of the net, allowing Krissy Cicalis to bury the ball in the left top corner of the net.
Falling a goal behind just 17 minutes into the first half, MIT turned up the aggression in hopes of scoring the equalizer. With 24 minutes remaining in the half, Gillett was brought clear out of the box, leaving the net wide open, but Krishnamachar shot with a bit too much power and the ball trickled out of play. In the remaining minutes, Ullmann made three saves compared to Gillett's one.
Tech started the second period with more intensity, spending a lot more time in enemy territory than the half before. Freshman Tamar Weseley (Weston, Conn.) replaced Ullmann in net for the second period, seeing her fair share of action right from the start. The freshman has not given up a single goal in the five games that she has played. At the 71 minute mark, Springfield put together a strong play following a corner quick but Weseley was able to throw herself in the middle of it to break it up.
At the 80 minute mark, senior Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.) sent a strong cross to Krishnamachar, who, in turn, sent it to senior Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala.), but the Pride defenders did an impressive job of kicking the ball out of the box. Fellow senior Samantha Fleischmann (Eastchester, N.Y.) had a series of three free kicks following Springfield fouls that all went into the box and into extremely dangerous territory but each one was either caught by Gillett or cleared by the ever-present Springfield defense. At 82:22, Krishnamachar had a promising shot that was saved by the keeper and, two minutes later, hit the post with another. Springfield's Julia Cormier also hit the post with two minutes remaining on the clock. With MIT unable to score the equalizing goal, time elapsed.
MIT and Springfield both took 14 shots, with Gillett making seven saves and Ullmann and Weseley combining to make nine saves. Ullmann currently has a record of 5-2-2 for the season, allowing just five goals in the nine games that she has played. Krishnamachar led the Engineers with her six shots.
Tech will play in its first away game in over two weeks next Saturday, Oct. 5 when it faces NEWMAC rival Mount Holyoke College at 1:00 p.m.