Defense Holds Tough for #16 Women's Soccer in a 0-0 Draw With #11 Engineers

CAMBRIDGE - The #16 Tufts University women's soccer team returned to non-conference action today and played to a hard-fought scoreless draw with #11 MIT on Roberts Field.

Freshman Hayley Bernstein made nine saves in the contest 

With the tie, the Jumbos moved to 5-1-1 on the season while the Engineers are now 6-1-2. 

The Jumbos were led by excellent goalkeeping from freshman Hayley Bernstein who earned her fourth shutout (one combined) this afternoon. Bernstein was able to save all of the nine shots by MIT that found their way on the net. The freshman didn't register a save until the second half when she came up with six of them, and then she finished strong with three throughout the two overtimes.

The Engineers split time between goalkeepers as freshmen Ava Gillikin and Lauren Castle both played. The duo combined for 10 saves leaving Tufts scoreless throughout the contest. Gillikin had six in the game, while Castle made four in the overtimes. 

Both teams battled relentlessly for the entire 110 minutes despite not being able to find the back of the net due to strong defensive play. The only two shots on goal in the first half came from the Jumbos who were looking to get up early on the Engineers. Freshman Madeleine Pero was the first Jumbo to test the MIT goalkeeper with a left-footed strike on the frame that resulted in a routine save. The second shot on goal came from a Lily Sykes corner that resulted in a header on the net by Margaux Ameer that was ultimately corralled by MIT. 

A busier second half saw 10 shot on goal, with six by MIT. In the final 10 minutes MIT was able to penetrate the strong Jumbo defense for a shot on frame by  Emily Berzolla that rattled off the crossbar. On a second chance, the Engineers' Sophia Struckman fired a high shot over the net keeping the score at 0-0.

The Jumbos were able to outshoot the Engineers in the overtime sessions 7-4, but were not able to bury one for the win. In the first overtime, junior Liz Reed was able to connect with senior Sarah Maloney on a corner kick that resulted in a header sailing over the crossbar. In the final two minutes of the overtime, Reed found herself with a scoring chance that was ultimately blocked away by the MIT defense. 

The second overtime was a hard-fought battle between both defenses who were doing everything to maintain the perfect game. MIT started off with a strong offensive push, but the Jumbos were able to deny any scoring chances for the Engineers. The Jumbos were able to have the last offensive attempt to break the 0-0 in the 110th minute. With a pass from junior Sophie Lloyd, Ameer fired a left-footed strike on the net that was saved by the MIT goalkeeper.

The Jumbos return to NESCAC action on Saturday when they travel to Bates College for a 12:00 pm start. MIT stays home against Smith College on Saturday at 1:00 pm.