Kansas City, Mo. (November 29) – MIT women's soccer senior Olivia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.), junior Hailey Nichols (Boulder, Colo.) and sophomore Emily Berzolla (Riverside, Conn.) have all been named to the United Soccer Coaches All-New England teams as the association released its selections late last night.
With three selections, the Engineers tied a program record for most All-Region selections in a single season. MIT also had three honorees in 2001, 2013 and 2014. Struckman, Nichols and Berzolla also account for the 28th, 29th and 30th selections in program history.
Struckman, who earned her third career All-Region nod, and Nichols, who is a first time selection, were both named to the First Team this fall, while Berzolla received a spot on the Second Team for the first time in her career. The trio from MIT made up three of nine selections from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and MIT was one of three schools in the league (MIT, Springfield and Wheaton) to have more than one student-athlete named to the All-Region teams this year.
On top of their All-Region honors this season, Struckman, Nichols and Berzolla were all named to the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team. Additionally, Struckman was named as the NEWMAC Athlete of the Year, while Nichols was named as the NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Year. For Struckman it marked her second career NEWMAC Athlete of the Year award.
Struckman and Berzolla became the first student-athletes to record 30 or more points in a single season since Alisha Lussiez '12 as the duo ranked first and second on the team, respectively, in that category. Struckman closed the campaign with a team best 14 goals and 31 points to go along with three assists, while Berzolla tied the program record for most assists in a single season with 16 and added seven goals for 30 points as a sophomore. Berzolla also ranked fifth in the country with her 16 assists this fall.
Nichols was one of the best defenders in the NEWMAC this year and became the first member of the MIT women's soccer team to be named Defensive Athlete of the Year. Nichols' defensive efforts led MIT to a 0.90 goals against average and nine shutouts this fall. Not only was her defensive spectacular, the junior registered five goals and three assists for 13 points, which was one of the top marks among defenders in the conference.
Offensively, Berzolla, Struckman and Nichols aided the Engineers in breaking seven team records including win percentage (.891), most wins (20), longest win streak (12), most wins to start a season (12), goals, (77), assists (62) and points (216). The trio also helped MIT lead the NEWMAC in a number of statistical categories including goals, assists, points, shots per game, shots on goal per game, scoring offense, points per game and assists per game. Nationally, MIT closed 2017 by ranking in the top-10 in total assists, total goals, total points, win percentage, and shots on goal per game.
The Engineers were also one of eight teams to reach the 20-win plateau in the country this year. All eight teams were in this year's NCAA Tournament and reached at-least the Round of 16 as MIT was joined by Hardin-Simmons, TCNJ, Chicago, Williams, Ohio Northern, Wisconsin-Lacrosse and Lynchburg in the 20+ win club.
MIT had one of its best seasons in program history in 2017. The Engineers finished the year with a record of 20-2-1, claimed its first NEWMAC Championship since 2011 and reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.