MIT Comes Back for 2-1 Victory Against Men's Soccer in Match-up of Regionally Ranked Teams
Sophomore Kento Nakamura assisted the Tufts goal
SOMERVILLE - MIT men's soccer scored two goals on each side of the second half to erase a one-goal deficit and defeat host Tufts University 2-1 Wednesday at Kraft Field.
Engineers midfielder Austin Freel (San Diego, CA) scored eight minutes into the second half, ripping a line drive off the far, top corner and in from about 35 yards out. Freel also assisted on the second Engineers goal that came with three minutes left to play in the game.
It was a frustrating result for a Tufts team that controlled the ball and play for the majority of the contest. From the start, it appeared that the Jumbos were moving the ball to midfield then hitting it long for their two speedsters Gus Santos (Framingham, MA) and Maxime Hoppenot (Princeton, NJ) to run underneath.
Tufts found success early with the play when sophomore middie Kento Nakamura (Tokyo, Japan) sent a ball over the top to a streaking Santos, who put home the score and the Jumbos up 1-0 in the seventh minute.
The visiting Engineers hung in there, however. Tufts continued its impressive ball movement, but ran into some early issues communicating at midfield to advance the ball.
Some strong MIT play and miscues from the Jumbos led to late, first-half chances for the Engineers. With 5:30 remaining in the first, after a Tufts misplay, MIT's Matthew Monheit (Abington, PA) jumped on the loose ball and attempted a point-blank shot on Jumbo freshman keeper Nick Moeser (Albuquerque, NM), who made a huge diving stop.
The Jumbos outshot MIT 5-4 in the first half and 13-7 in the match.
About 10 minutes following the Freel goal, around the midpoint of the second half, Tufts got a big chance from Santos. The sophomore let go a bomb from about the same distance out as Freel's shot. MIT keeper Jake Amereno (Commack, NY), who came in for the second half, made a great effort to push the Santos strike just over the cage.
Moments later Hoppenot had a chance from about 30 yards out that rattled off the crossbar. Amereno was dialed in from there. The freshman goalie made a slew of late saves against the Jumbo onslaught. He finished with four.
Standing tall at the other end, especially late in the contest, were Tufts defenders Peter Lee Kramer (Princeton, NJ), Connor Schaible (Oldwick, NJ), and Pat Bauer (Portland, OR). MIT had plenty of counter-punches to throw, but the back end of Tufts held its ground.
Tufts played to score the go-ahead goal and on a quick counter out of the MIT half of the field, the Engineers had better numbers on the attack. With 3:07 left to play, Freel poked the ball over the top of the Tufts defense to the waiting foot of freshman Sean Bingham (Garden City, NJ), who elevated home the eventual game-winner.
The Jumbos stayed on the attack and had two great chances in the final two minutes. Nakamura hit the crossbar from just outside the box after a an athletic deflection from Amereno, and Santos also stung the top of the cage moments later on a nice lead pass from Nakamura.
MIT, 10th in the region, improves to 9-3-1. They face Coast Guard in NEWMAC play on Saturday. Tufts, fifth in New England, falls to 6-3-3 and will host Hamilton on Saturday.