SOMERVILLE - After two hard-fought defensive halves, sophomore Sophie Lloyd ended the game with one swing of her leg in the 97th minute on Wednesday as Tufts Women's Soccer defeated MIT 1-0.
|Sophie Lloyd scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season despite missing two games to injury.|
Kraft Field was the site on Wednesday, as MIT travelled in to square off with the Jumbos in a non-conference marquee matchup. MIT entered the game with a 7-1-1 record and ranked 14th in the nation according to the United Soccer Coaches rankings. Tufts entered the game 5-1-0 also receiving votes in said rankings.
The first half did not bring many scoring chances, but highlighted how important an experienced backline is for the Jumbos. The trio of Jamie Corley, Taylor Koscho, and Sarah Maloney did an excellent job in the first half of not letting any shots on goal, and clearing the ball downfield when necessary. They also did a great job of marking the Engineers' leading goal scorer, Sophia Struckman, and not letting her get any solid opportunities.
Tufts' midfielders were not to be outdone as they tried to be as much of a nuisance for Engineer forwards as possible. This was maybe the most active sophomore Jenna Troccoli has been all year, as she was simply faster to the ball than anyone else, hustling whenever the team needed it.
The second half proved to hold the majority of scoring chances. In the 80th minute, things got heavy for Tufts, allowing back to back corner kicks, which forced goalkeeper Emily Bowers to step up big. Bowers punched the initial corner out of bounds, then sent the second corner attempt out of the box with a closed fist rising above all heads around.
MIT managed to produce several legitimate chances in the last ten minutes, which must have felt like an hour for the Jumbos. As regulation ended, coach Martha Whiting gave a quick pep talk and sent her starters out for overtime.
In the 97th minute Sophie Lloyd was able to break free and almost finish the game with a long shot that hit the crossbar. Once MIT was unable to clear, Lloyd got the ball back on a pass from Liz Reed where she turned and fired a clutch shot off the left post and into the net for an overtime victory.
The Engineers were led on offense by Montana Reilly with two shots on goal, while goalkeeper Lily Mueller shut out the Jumbos in regulation with four saves.
Tufts had five total shots on goal, coming from five separate players in a balanced offensive attack. Reed added another assist to lift her team-leading total to five on the season.
MIT returns to action Friday at home against Clark, while the Jumbos return to Kraft Field on Saturday for Homecoming Day against Amherst.
Written by Athletic Communications Intern Garrett Kerr