CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After battling to a scoreless deadlock for 110 minutes, top-seeded MIT advanced past fifth-seeded Babson College 3-0 on penalties in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Jack Berry Stadium.
MIT (13-2-4) will play for the conference championship on Sunday at 3 p.m., while Babson sees its year come to an end at 10-4-5.
Seniors Michaelann Rodriguez (Florence, Ala.) and Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y.) and junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) all connected on their penalty attempts for MIT. The Beavers first attempt hit the crossbar and bounced straight down without crossing the goal line, and the second sailed wide right. MIT freshman goalkeeper Anna Zlotnick (Rochester, N.Y.), who played came on for the second overtime period and penalties, saved the third attempt with a dive to her left to seal the shootout.
The first half turned into a battle between the two team's midfields, with the two teams combining for seven shots. Junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) had chance at the 11:09 mark, but her try was wide of the mark. Babson had a chance six minutes later when sophomore Meghan Tyson (Scarborough, Maine) got off a shot from the outside of the box, but it was scooped up by the Engineers goalkeeper, freshman Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.).
In the second half Babson's defense held MIT to just two shots, neither of which ended up on goal. The Beavers got off five shots, including one by freshman Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) and one by junior Jessica DiPhilippo (Falmouth, Maine) that made it in on goal, but Ullman made the save on both to preserve the tie and send the game into overtime.
A turnover by MIT gave senior Mika Cucullo (South Salem, N.Y.) a scoring chance in the first OT, but Ullmann was there to make the save. Three minutes into the second overtime a shot by junior Elena Gianotas (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) made it in on goal, but junior Melina Kapotsis (Watertown, Mass.) made the save. Neither team generated a shot after that and the game went to penalty kicks to decide things.
Kapotsis stopped a pair of shots in 110 minutes of action for Babson while Ullman made four saves in 100 minutes for MIT.
Game Notes: Babson is now 24-6-6 all-time against MIT and 4-0-3 against the Engineers in NEWMAC Tournament history…Six of the Beavers last 14 conference tournament matches have been decided on penalty kicks, including wins over MIT in 2006 and 2010…The scoreless draw was the fourth of the season for Babson, which posted shutouts in 10 of its 19 contests this season.
Note: Portions of this release courtesy of MIT.