CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - On a brisk October night, MIT women's soccer faced off against the Bears of Bridgewater State College under the lights at Roberts Field. While the Engineers made a second-half charge to close the lead, the Bears' defense escaped trouble and held strong for a 2-1 victory. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for MIT (5-3 overall, 1-0 NEWMAC), while the win for Bridgewater State (3-4-1 overall, 0-2 MASCAC) is the team's first on the road this season.
Early in the first half, MIT's defense appeared solid, preventing any Bridgewater shots until the 24th minute. The Bears struck first blood in the 29th minute, when Kristina Ortiz found co-captain Christine Soucy undefended in the penalty area. Soucy's lofted shot eluded keeper Meghan Wright's hands and found the top corner for her first goal of the season.
With less than two minutes remaining in the half, Bridgewater extended the lead when Soucy guided a corner kick to fellow senior Ashley Hersey, who slipped the ball into the net past a diving Wright. The goal was the first allowed by MIT on a corner kick this season and gave the Bears a 2-0 lead at the half.
MIT came out of the break determined to close the gap. In the 58th minute, senior Liz Theurer used her head to redirect a perfectly-placed corner kick from freshman Connie Park. The goal spoiled Bridgewater keeper Kayla Grover's chance to record her first shutout of the season and closed the lead to 2-1.
The Engineers increased the pressure in the final minutes of the half, but Grover and the Bears defense held off the MIT rally. Grover finished with seven saves; Wright and junior Katy Olesnavage each recorded three saves for the Engineers.
MIT resumes conference play when the team travels to Springfield College this Saturday, October 3, at noon. Bridgewater's next match is on the road against MASCAC rival Fitchburg State on Saturday at 10 a.m.