CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) scored just 1:12 before halftime and MIT, currently ranked eighth in New England, added three second-half goals en route to a 4-0 victory over visiting Babson College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer match on Saturday afternoon at Steinbrenner Field.
With the win, Tech improved to 11-2-3 and 6-1-1 in NEWMAC play, while the Beavers dipped to 9-4-3 and 4-3-2 in league action. With their win, the Engineers are now tied for first in the conference with Springfield.
The game started slowly, as neither team was able to settle before the ball was stolen away by the opponents. With 25 minutes remaining on the clock, Babson junior keeper Melina Kapotsis (Watertown, Mass.) had a great save when junior Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) broke past one defender and shot past the other from inside the box.
Senior Kaitlyn Nealon (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) had a good block a few minutes later when junior Jessica DiPhilippo (Falmouth, Maine), one of the Beavers' top goal scorers this season, got too close to the MIT net, sending the ball out of play. At 43:48, Battipaglia put Tech on the board with her second goal of the season following a cross from Krishnamachar, firing past Kapotsis and burying the ball in the top left corner of the net.
Eleven minutes after returning to the field for the second half, Krishnamachar scored her eighth of the season, firing a rocket to the right side and just out of arm's reach of the keeper. A few minutes later, freshman goalie Lauren Ullmann (Princeton, N.J.) got her first touch of the game, saving a shot by sophomore Kristina Simonson (Easton, Mass.).
At the 78 minute mark, after a pass from junior Ashley Peter (Manhasset, N.Y.), freshman Kathleen Chen (Chappaqua, N.Y.) scored her first collegiate goal, slipping past the defenders inside the box to find the back of the net. Two minutes later, junior Faith OBrian (Raleigh, N.C.) brought MIT's total to four goals when she shot at the net and the ball took a deflection off a few Babson players, hitting the crossbar and tipping into the net. Both goalies made one more save each but there was little the Beavers could do to lessen the gap, and time elapsed.
MIT outshot Babson, 20-8. Kapotsis had to make seven saves throughout the game while Ullmann, who improved to 9-2-3 on the season, only had to make three. Krishnamachar led Tech with her six shots, four of which were on goal.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as Babson will travel to Wheaton for its regular-season finale at 3 p.m., while MIT will be at Emerson in a 6 p.m. start.
Note: Portions of this press release courtesy of MIT.