MIT Women’s Soccer begins another record-breaking season
The MIT Women’s Varsity Soccer team faced a challenging start to their season, with an at-home tie and a loss on the road in two double-overtime games. These initial results were enough to continue the undefeated-at-home-streak MIT has held since the 2015 season. But the team is hungry for more as they set out to defend their NEWMAC conference championship and national ranking.
The team “came into the season really excited to get back out on the field again,” Captain Shannon Miller ’19 said in an interview with The Tech.
“We added a super strong freshman class and I felt like everything was coming together well going into our first two games. Admittedly, those games didn’t end with the outcomes we wanted, but there was still a lot of good stuff happening that we were excited to build on.”
Since its initial shortcomings, MIT has settled into its groove and won seven consecutive games, beginning with a stunning victory against Worcester State. In this Sept. 4 game, the first three goals were scored by rookie Karenna Groff ’22 in 51 seconds, coming in as the second-fastest hat trick in NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer history. Following this mark were goals by Allie Werner ’20, Lily Bailey ’20, Anna Weinstein ’22, and Sarah DiIorio ’19, to give the Engineers a final score of 7–0.
One week and two wins later, MIT went up against Roger Williams University. MIT came out strong, as Roger Williams has proven to be a tricky foe in the past. Captain Amy Apostol ’19 jumped on their back line fast and, following the pattern set by Groff, scored the first three goals of the game. Apostol’s hat trick clocked in at one minute and 50 seconds, the seventh fastest hat trick in NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer history, putting Apostol alongside Groff in the record books.
Not yet satisfied with their lead, MIT continued to play strong to put the final nail in the coffin. Montana Reilly ’20 scored the next two goals, and Kiara Wahnschafft ’21 and Brittany Sacks ’21 delivered the last pair, finishing the game with another 7–0 win for the Engineers.
Apostol discussed the Engineers’ winning streak: “momentum is very important for us to have moving into conference play the next couple of weeks.” According to Apostol, “every game [MIT plays] in the conference is extremely important because these games ultimately lead to a conference championship and thus a good seed in the NCAA Tournament.”
Both Apostol and Miller pointed to the 11-member freshman class as a vital part of the team’s current and future success. Apostol noted that the team has “added so much talent this year with the freshman class. Each of them brings something different to the team and allows [MIT] to be even more dynamic than before.”
Prompted by the team’s success thus far, head coach Martin Desmarais is looking forward to the future challenges. “We are clicking in attack, scoring goals, and also have been very strong defensively, which doesn't give teams many chances to win against us. But we have some big games coming up, so we are working on getting sharper and continuing to improve,” Desmarais said.
You heard it from the coach himself: the team has big games coming up, so make sure to stop by Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium if you want to support them. The next home games are against the Cougars of Clark University on Friday, Sept. 28, and against the Wellesley College Blue on Tuesday, Oct. 9.