Cambridge, Mass. - November 10, 2013 - For the second year in a row and the fourth time in six years, Springfield College was crowned the 2013 NEWMAC Women's Soccer Champions as they edged out host MIT, 4-3, in a penalty kick shootout following a 0-0 double overtime battle on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Pride (13-4-4) secured a spot in the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship and will learn about their next opponent when the field is revealed Monday afternoon.
Junior goalie Lucy Gillett (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player after compiling six saves and surrendering only two goals in 290 minutes of action for the Pride.
With MIT taking the field first in the shootout, senior Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala.) easily converted her attempt while junior Kelly Haines (Easton, Conn.) matched the effort for Springfield. Senior Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.) was successful on her bid as was senior Vicky DiNatale (Weymouth, Mass.). In the third round, junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) saw her strike go wide off the far post while senior Lauren Muser (Derry, N.H.) had her shot glance off the same post. After Gillett smothered the attempt from junior Elena Gianotas (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), freshman Elizabeth Monsen (Wayne, N.J.) gave the Pride a 3-2 lead. Sophomore Morgan Moroi (New Albany, Ohio) evened the score but senior Nina Vital (Ludlow, Mass.) buried her shot for the win.
The Pride offense came out firing, with several scoring chances early in the first half. Fifteen minutes into the game,, Ashley Carresi (Billerica, Mass.) had a encouraging look, but her bid went just wide. Just two minutes later, Carresi sent a corner kick into the middle of the box and DiNatale got a foot on it, but the MIT goalie came up with a big save.
With 26:49 left in the first half, Nicole Fowler (Maynard, Mass.) nearly put one in, but her shot hit the post. The Pride defense, which has been stellar all season, was solid again on Sunday. With just 11 minutes left in the first half, MIT was threatening in front of the net, but the Pride defense cleared the ball, keeping the game scoreless.
With 6:47 left in the half, a Springfield foul gave MIT a free kick from 30 yards out. The Engineers kick went well-wide, past the goal and out of play.
The second half opened up with more opportunities for Springfield. Fowler had two quick chances just one minute apart. In the 52nd minute, she ripped a shot that was knocked away by the MIT goalie. Just a minute later, she was tripped up and the MIT goalie fell on the ball for a save.
With 30:20 remaining on the clock, the Engineer defense came up with its biggest play of the half. With a big scramble in the middle of the box, it looked as if Springfield might get on the board, but the MIT defense cleared the ball to keep the game locked at 0-0.
Down the stretch, sophomore Jessica Miller (Southbury, Conn.) made numerous threatening charges along the near sideline as her best effort came with 4:22 left to play. On a breakaway in the middle of the field with just goalie Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.) to beat, she took a dribble to the nearside to improve her angle but Ullmann slid in at the last second to grab the ball.
Held to only three shots for the frame, the Engineers' best scoring opportunity came in the 63rd minute. In a one-on-one situation with Gillett on the far side, junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) unleashed a shot that narrowly sailed over the net.
The first overtime period featured up-and-down play that produced shots by Fowler and Caressi. In the second extra frame, MIT controlled the action early on with shots by Rodriguez and junior Ashley Peter (Manhasset, N.Y.). The Pride almost captured the victory on Fowler's throw-in in the 103rd minute. The ball bounced in front of the goal, hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced back into the box but it was quickly cleared out before a play could be made.
In net, Ullmann finished the game with nine saves while Gillett turned away three shots.