No. 13 Women's Soccer Downs Castleton, 7-2, In NCAA Opening Round

No. 13 Women's Soccer Downs Castleton, 7-2, In NCAA Opening Round

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 13 MIT 7, Castleton University 2 (NCAA Tournament First Round) 

- Records: No. 13 MIT (19-1-1), Castleton University (11-8-2)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium)

- The Lead: Tied at 2-2 after 30 minutes of action, the No. 13 ranked MIT women's soccer team used five unanswered goals to defeat Castleton University by a 7-2 score on Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. 

With the victory, MIT advances to the second round and will face No. 17 Middlebury College tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in Cambridge, while Castleton saw its season come to a close with an overall record of 11-8-2.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT and Castleton traded goals over the opening 29:55 of the first half as the Engineers scored on an own goal and the other by senior Olivia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) off a great corner kick by sophomore Emily Berzolla (Riverside, Conn.). Castleton got its goals on an unassisted marker by Bronwen Hopwood in the 13th minute and by Mikayla Sullivan off a free kick by Kaitie Sanders.

- The Engineers answered however and scored twice more before the first half horn sounded. Berzolla registered her sixth goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute and was followed by Claire O'Callaghan (Sherborn, Mass.), who scored her third of the year 1:23 later on a double assisted pass by Berzolla and Allie Werner (Tyler, Texas) 

- The MIT offense was not done as the Engineers tallied three in the second half to secure the opening round win, 7-2. Just 54-seconds into the second half, Berzolla had her second penalty kick opportunity of the day and buried it into the upper left corner and less than two minutes later, Sophia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) notched her first goal of the season on an unassisted strike. 

- In the 81st minute, O'Callaghan capped the scoring for MIT with her second of the day of fourth of the season.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT held a 19-7 advantage in shots and a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.

- With their efforts today, both O. Struckman and Berzolla registered their 30th points of the season. The duo becomes the first student-athletes since Alisha Lussiez '12 to have 30+ points in a single season to have 30 or more points in a single season. 

- MIT keeper Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.), who improved to 18-1-1 this fall, made two saves in net over the opening 57:06 of the game before classmate Chris Sacha (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) stopped the ball three times over the final 32:54 for the Engineers. Castleton netminder Kiley Baran (11-4-1) made six saves for the visiting Spartans.

- Today's victory marked the first win for MIT in the NCAA Tournament since 2014 when the Engineers defeated Colby-Sawyer College in the opening round by a 3-1 score. 

UP NEXT:

- MIT will take on Middlebury College tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The contest will be a rematch of last year's opening round game between the two clubs, which saw the Panthers edge the Engineers, 1-0, in Hoboken, N.J.

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