MIT Outlasts Wellesley Soccer, 3-2, Despite Tran's Two-Goal Effort

Junior Emily Tran recorded her first career two-goal game (Julia Monaco).
Junior Emily Tran recorded her first career two-goal game (Julia Monaco).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT first year Karenna Groff (Weston, Mass.) broke a 2-2 tie with less than a minute left on the clock to send the host Engineers to a 3-2 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wellesley College soccer on Tuesday at Roberts Field.

Groff's first of the game made the difference, as MIT improved to 10-2-2 overall and 5-0-0 in the NEWMAC. Wellesley drops to 3-8-1 (0-5-1 NEWMAC) despite rallying twice to tie the score behind junior Emily Tran's (Vienna, Va.) first career two-goal game. 

Junior Sophia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) scored her team-leading 12th goal of the season to give MIT the 1-0 lead in the 34th minute when she finished following a throw-in from classmate Lily Bailey (Danvers, Mass.). MIT outshot the Blue, 10-0, in the first half and took the 1-0 lead into the break.

Tran scored the first of her two goals to even the score line in the 49th minute, as she capitalized on an MIT turnover before beating MIT goalkeeper Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.) to her left. The 1-1 score lasted for just over six minutes, as junior Claire O'Callaghan (Sherborn, Mass.) set-up the go ahead goal for MIT, finding senior Amy Apostol (Los Gatos, Calif.) at the top of the penalty area before she drove through the Wellesley defense to make the score 2-1 in the 55th minute. The goal was Apostol's fourth of the season. 

MIT held on to the one-goal lead until the 82nd minute when Tran and the Blue took advantage of a free kick opportunity from just outside the penalty area. Tran unleashed a strike straight into the back of the MIT goal, beating Mueller to her right to bring the Blue level at 2-2.

Unfortunately for the Blue, MIT found the go-ahead goal in the final minute of play. With sophomore Eva Anderson (Edina, Minn.) driving toward the goal, the Blue defense broke-up the play, only to see the ball find its way to Groff. Groff then beat Wellesley goalkeeper Olivia Reckley (Grosse Ile, Mich.) to her left for the game-winner.

Muller made one stop on three Blue shots on goal to improve to 10-2-2 on the year. Reckley (3-8-1) turned back four MIT chances in the setback. The Engineers finished with 17-4 lead in shots in the contest.

Both teams continue NEWMAC play on Saturday. Wellesley returns home to host Emerson at 11:00 AM and MIT will welcome Coast Guard at 1:00 PM.