Nov. 11, 2009

Courtesy of Nichols Athletics

DUDLEY, Mass. –
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology field hockey team held on to a 2-0 first-half lead to defeat Nichols College, 2-1, on Vendetti Field in the 2009 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship First Round Wednesday afternoon. The Engineers improve to 18-4 and advance to face Tufts University Saturday, November 14, in the Second Round in Medford, Mass. Nichols ends its historic season with an 18-4 record. The game marked the first NCAA Championship Tournament appearance for both teams.

The Engineers wasted little time getting on the board as freshman attacker Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) tipped in a shot by sophomore attacker Kameron Klauber (Carlsbad, Calif.) less than five minutes into the game.

MIT carried a two-goal lead into the break after freshman midfielder Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) slipped the ball to senior midfielder Ekavali Mishra (Washington, D.C.) at the near post after a scrum in front drew out Nichols keeper Krista-Jean Forand (Plymouth, Mass.). Mishra knocked the ball into the open net in the 29th minute for the two-goal advantage.

Eight minutes into the second half, the Bison cut the Engineers’ lead in half, courtesy of a rebound by first year attacker Barbara Roy (Springfield, Mass.).

Nichols looked to knot the game on several corner opportunities, including a pair with about 10 minutes left. In the first, MIT goalkeeper Keri Dixon (Bethlehem, Pa.) stopped a trio of shots before Nichols was awarded a second corner. On the ensuing set, Emily Widdison’s (Greenfield, Mass.) shot was tipped high over the cage.

The Bison were awarded a corner just as time expired, but the MIT defense thwarted Nichols’ final stand.

Dixon earned the win with 10 saves, while Forand shouldered the loss with 10 stops. MIT held a slim advantage in penalty corners at 14-13, and outshot the hosts, 22-12 overall.

Nichols ends its historic season with records set for wins in a season (18), winning percentage (.818), and consecutive wins (13) after making the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Championship Tournament.