Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sophia Struckman netted the game's only goal, as the Engineers posted a 1-0 win over 17th-ranked Middlebury in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Thirteenth-ranked MIT (20-1-1) advances to play Messiah in the sectional round, while the Panthers finish their season at 12-4-2.
The Engineers scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal 21:29 into the contest when Struckman put the hosts on top. She carried the ball up the middle of the field and fired a shot from the top of the area for her second goal of the tournament.
The Panthers pressed for the equalizer with just under 15 minutes in the first half, keeping the hosts pinned in their half of the field. Eliza Robinson had a free kick from 33 yards out sail high, while her second shot less than a minute later was corralled by MIT goalie Lily Mueller. Eliza Van Voorhis added a good-scoring opportunity for Middlebury, as her header on a corner kick by Alex Barber also went over the cross bar.
Middlebury goalie Ursula Alwang kept the difference at one, making a highlight-reel save 3:44 before the break. Emily Berzolla laced a shot from the left side that Alwang leapt into the air and punched over the net.
In the first minute of the second half, the Engineers nearly doubled their advantage. Hailey Nichols headed a corner kick toward the far corner of the net, but Van Voorhis used her own head to prevent the goal. Middlebury came close to getting the equalizer just under six minutes later, as Robinson pounced on a turnover at the top of the MIT penalty area, but her shot went high.
The Engineers had the stanza's other top scoring chance in the final 10 minutes of the game. Struckman created shooting space at the top of the Panther area and drilled a shot off the cross bar, keeping the final score at 1-0.
Alwang finished the game with three saves, while Mueller had two, as the hosts held an 11-10 advantage in shots.