Kansas City, Mo. (December 7) – When the United Soccer Coaches released its final Division III national poll of the 2017 season yesterday afternoon, the MIT women's soccer team learned that they earned the highest ranking in program history at No. 12 after winning the NEWMAC Championship, making a run to the Sweet 16 and finishing with a program-best 20-2-1 record this fall.
Under the guidance of United Soccer Coaches New England Division III Women's Soccer Coach of the Year and NEWMAC Coach of the Year Martin Desmarais, MIT began the season at 12-0-0 – the team's best start in program history. The Engineers defeated then No. 6 Brandeis University, 3-2, in the season opener and also got key victories over Wheaton in the NEWMAC opener and crosstown rival Tufts University midway through the year. The Engineers claimed the top-seed in the NEWMAC Tournament with an undefeated league record of 9-0-1 and went on to win the Tournament Championship with a 2-0 victory over Springfield.
As the second-ranked team in New England only behind 2017 NCAA Division III Champions Williams College, the Engineers earned hosting rights for the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament and registered wins over Castleton University (7-2) and Middlebury College (1-0) at home.
MIT was led by All-American and NEWMAC Athlete of the Year senior captain Olivia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) as she scored a career-high 14 goals and tallied a career-high 31 points. Defensively, the duo of senior Jacqueline Simmons (Houston, Texas) and NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Year Hailey Nichols (Boulder, Colo.) helped the Engineers to nine shutouts a goals against average of 0.90, while in net junior Academic All-American Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.) posted a record of 19-2-1 with six shutouts in nearly 1800 minutes in between the pipes.