Women’s Soccer Topples No. 6 Brandeis, 3-2, On Opening Night

Courtesy of Dave Sliverman
Courtesy of Dave Sliverman

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 3, No. 6 Brandeis University 2

- Records: MIT (1-0), No. 6 Brandeis University (0-1)

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

- The Lead: With the score even at 2-2, MIT junior Hailey Nichols (Boulder, Colo.) knocked in the game winning goal in the 65th minute as the women's soccer team defeated No. 6 nationally-ranked Brandeis University, 3-2, in both teams season openers on Friday evening in Cambridge.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- With 25:14 to play in the second half and the score knotted at 2-2, Nichols headed the ball off of a corner kick via sophomore Emily Berzolla (Riverside, Conn.) that was blocked down to her feet. Nichols then gathered the deflected ball and fired it into the back of the net to give MIT the lead as the Engineers wouldn't back down to secure the opening night victory.

- In the first half after Brandeis potted the opening goal of the contest at the 7:46 mark – an unassisted goal by Samantha Schwartz – MIT answered with a pair just 12:15 apart to take a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. MIT freshman Maya Nielan (Danville, Calif.) registered her first collegiate goal at the 22:41 mark on a put back shot after Nichols' headed the original attempt off the crossbar and was followed by sophomore Montana Reilly (Los Angeles, Calif.), who shot the ball from about 30 yards out after receiving the ball from sophomore Allie Werner (Tyler, Texas). Reilly's ball trickled all the way back into the net after she met the Brandeis keeper Victoria Richardson at about the 25-yard line.

- Brandeis, however, responded once again this time as Sasha Sunday sent a well-executed cross into the box. Sunday's ball landed at the feet of Haliana Burhans, who took the ball on one touch and lifted above the hands of MIT junior keeper Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.).

- Leading 3-2 after Nichols first goal of the campaign and less than 20 minutes to play, MIT held Brandeis to just one shot – a liner by Schwartz and saved by Mueller – to claim the opening night win against the nationally-ranked Judges.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT dominated Brandeis in almost every category this evening, offensively, defensively and in goal. The Engineers outshot the Judges by a wide 26-5 margin and held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks, which proved to be the winning factor. The Brandeis tandem between the pipes compiled ten saves, while Mueller only needed two saves to earn her first win of the year in her first collegiate start.

- Mueller improved to 1-0 for the Engineers as she stopped the ball twice on four shots faced, while Richardson made four saves over the opening 34:56 of the game and Sierra Dana, who took the loss in relief of Richardson, registered six stops for Brandeis.

- MIT is now unbeaten at home in its past 13 contests a streak which stretches back to a 3-1 win over Wheaton College on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. The Engineers also picked up their tenth win in the all-time series between the two programs – a series that stretches back to 1985.

UP NEXT:

- MIT is back in action tomorrow evening as the Engineers head across town to play Lesley University at 7:00 p.m., while Brandeis travels to Lasell College on Sunday for a 12:00 p.m. contest in Newton.

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