Tech Beats Worcester State 5-2; Theurer and Pesce Each Score Two

MIT women’s soccer scored four unanswered goals in the second half, powering to a 5-2 victory against Worcester State in the 2007 home opener at Steinbrenner Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Jean E. “Liz” Theurer ’10 and Kathryn A. Pesce ’10 paced a remarkable performance for the Engineers by scoring two goals apiece, while Amy S. Ludlum ’08 also totaled four points to give MIT its second consecutive win.

The Engineers (2-1) lit the board first as Pesce knocked home her second goal of the season in the 15th minute. Ludlum set up the finish with a corner kick, while a diving attempt to snag the cross fell out of the reach of Lasers’ goalkeeper Erin Doherty. Pesce stepped up to the loose ball and calmly planted it into the back of the net for the early lead.

Worcester State (1-2), which was picked to win the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference in the league’s preseason poll, answered in the 18th minute after a tremendous individual effort by Katelyn Bonetti. The junior forward shook the MIT defense with a few strong moves and cleared enough space to fire off a rocket from 12 yards out that ended up in the top right corner of the goal.

The Lasers added a second score in the 41st minute as Amanda Santos delivered a great ball to Tiffany Rotatori, who promptly buried the feed past Tech keeper Stephanie V. Brenman ’09 to reclaim the lead for Worcester State. The Lasers dominated the first half, outshooting MIT, 17-4. Only a few key stops prevented the Lasers from extending their lead even further. Showing outstanding play at both ends of the field, Pesce hustled back to break up a breakaway attempt by Lauren Cush with 20 minutes left in the frame. A few minutes later, Santos fired a shot on goal that Brenman jumped and tipped off the top of the crossbar before the MIT backline cleared the ball.

With a gusty wind at their back in the second half, the Engineers turned the tables on Worcester State. A long ball from the back of MIT’s formation was corralled up top by Theurer in the 49th minute. Doherty made the initial save on Theurer’s break-away attempt, but the reigning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year gobbled up the rebound to provide the equalizer.

Theurer netted the game-winner in the 60th minute after bringing in another long service. Taking advantage of a thunderous kick by Brenman, Theurer outmaneuvered the Worcester State defense for the score.

Pesce extended MIT’s lead in the 68th minute with a high-arching goal from 30 yards out. Ludlum drew in the defense before passing the ball back to Pesce, who was wide open for the long-range attempt.

After setting up two goals earlier in the tilt, Ludlum supplied a goal of her own in the 81st minute after stripping a Worcester State defender deep in the back. The score gave the senior playmaker a goal for the third consecutive game to open the campaign. Brenman finished the match with 11 saves for the Engineers, while Doherty made four stops for the Lasers. Worcester State closed the afternoon with a 23-11 advantage in shots, although MIT outshot the Lasers, 7-6, in the second half.

Tech returns to the field on Tuesday, Sept. 11 against the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth at 4 p.m. at Steinbrenner Stadium.