Wheaton to play in its 14th conference tournament championship game in program history
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Wheaton College junior goalkeeper Ali Hinton (Lafayette, Colo./Alexander Dawson School) compiled a career-high 11 saves to aid the fourth-seeded Lyons to a 2-0 victory over first-seeded and nationally ranked MIT in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Soccer Tournament semifinal round on Saturday afternoon at Roberts Field.
Wheaton (14-6-2) will play second-seeded Springfield College (12-3-4) tomorrow in Cambridge, Mass. for the NEWMAC championship at 1 p.m. The Pride defeated third-seeded Babson College (12-4-3) by a 2-0 score in the second semifinal matchup of the day. Tomorrow's meeting marks the sixth time both squads have met in the conference tournament championship. Wheaton holds a 2-1-2 edge over the Pride in the title game.
Junior forward/midfielder Julia Cipriano (Middlebury, Conn./Pomperaug) struck early for the Lyons with her ninth goal of the season (23rd career) at the 5:15 mark of the contest. Sophomore back/midfielder Molley Shea (Westfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) orchestrated the strike with a through ball down the sideline that Cipriano collected in space and followed with a shot into the middle of the netting past MIT sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Ullman (Princeton, N.J./Princeton).
Cipriano's tally ended the Engineers' chance of expanding upon its program record six-game shutout streak and also stopped Ullman's scoreless streak at 623:14. Ullman finished with three saves in the loss (14-4-2).
First-year Carly Costello (Holyoke, Mass./Holyoke) registered the all-important insurance goal for Wheaton in the 79th minute with a shot that curved into the right corner of the net from outside of the box.
Costello's first career goal came at the most opportune time as MIT rattled five shots throughout the remainder of the contest, four of which were saved by Hinton.
The Engineers outshot the Lyons, 13-7, with six landing on net in the first half and five in the second stanza.
With the win today, Wheaton improved to 27-11-2 in the all-time series versus MIT, which dates back to 1979 and 4-3-1 against the Engineers in postseason play. The Lyons posted their 11th shutout this season, which includes nine by Hinton, and also bumped their current undefeated streak to 7-0-1.
MIT (14-4-2) awaits its fate in the upcoming NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Selection Show scheduled for Monday, November 10 at 1 p.m. The Engineers entered today's contest ranked No. 21 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll and most importantly No. 2 in the NCAA New England Regional rankings.