CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After battling to a scoreless deadlock for 110 minutes, No. 1 seed MIT advanced past No. 5 seed Babson College in penalty kicks, 3-0, in a semifinal game of the 2013 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference women's soccer tournament this afternoon. MIT (13-2-4) will face Springfield College in the championship final at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow Babson saw their season come to a close, with the Beavers finishing the 2013 season with a 10-4-5 record.
The first half turned into a battle between the two team's midfields, with the two teams combining for seven shots. Junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) had chance at the 11:09 mark, but her try was wide of the mark. Babson had a chance six minutes later when sophomore Meghan Tyson (Scarborough, Maine) got off a shot from the outside of the box, but it was scooped up by the Engineers goalkeeper, freshman Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.).
In the second half Babson's defense held MIT to just two shots, neither of which ended up on goal. The Beavers got off five shots, including one by freshman Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) and one by junior Jessica DiPhilippo (Falmouth, Maine) that made it in on goal, but Ullman made the save on both to preserve the tie and send the game into overtime.
A turnover by MIT gave senior Mika Cucullo (South Salem, N.Y.) a scoring chance in the first OT, but Ullmann was there to make the save. Three minutes into the second overtime a shot by junior Elena Gianotas (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) made it in on goal, but junior Melina Kapotsis (Watertown, Mass.) made the save. Neither team generated a shot after that and the game went to penalty kicks to decide which team would be playing in finals the following afternon.
Seniors Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala.) and Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.) and junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) all connected on their penalty attempts for MIT. For Babson, a shot by sophomore Kristina Simonson (Easton, Mass.) hit the crossbar, the next by Diphilippo was saved by freshman keeper Hannah Zlotnick (Rochester, N.Y.) and the third by Meghan Andrew (Easton, Mass.) went wide of the net, ending the game.