WORCESTER, Mass – The Clark University men's soccer team outlasted MIT, 2-1, as sophomore Brian Brennan (Stoneham, Mass.) delivered the game-winning goal just thirty seconds into double overtime in the First Round of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament on Tuesday night at Granger Field.
Score: Cougars 2, Engineers 1 (2OT)
Records: No. 4 Clark University (12-6-0, 5-3-0 NEWMAC) | No. 5 MIT (7-5-6, 2-4-2 NEWMAC)
How it Happened
The teams played through a thick fog covering throughout the entirety of the game, with the weather conditions hitting its climax during the first half of action.
The teams were closely-contested during the first 20 minutes, with the Cougars breaking through with the go-ahead marker in the 22nd minute as Brennan connected with first-year defender Griffin Smith (Austin, Texas), who rose above the opposition inside the box to head home his second goal of the season for the early 1-0 advantage.
Minutes later, the Cougars nearly doubled up the lead as senior captain Sean Munroe (Silver Spring, Md.) found open space on the offensive end before sending his one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper wide-right of the target. MIT was able to withstand four more shots from the Cougars during the remainder of the time, keeping the deficit at one goal going into the intermission break.
The Engineers knotted the score at 1-1 less than two minutes into the second half when Isaac Perper cut into the box, scoring off a low cross from Rami Bikdash to equalize the contest. Despite heaps of pressure offensively from the Cougars through the remaining time, which resulted in six shots on goal for the second period from the host, the teams remained locked to force overtime.
MIT controlled possession during the first overtime session as the Engineers rifled off three shots, but to no avail as the Cougars defense held firm to push the action to an additional ten minute period.
The Cougars didn't allow the Engineers to stick around for long during the second overtime as the team manufactured the game-winning goal just 30 seconds in. Senior Charlie Lane (Southboro, Mass.) assisted on the game-winning goal, flicking his pass to the front of the net where Brennan was crashing into the box to lift his chance over the head of Jeremy Cowham in the Engineers' net to propel the Cougars into the NEWMAC semifinal round.
Junior goalkeeper Melvin Vincent (Rochester, Mass.) improved his record to 9-5 in net, turning aside seven shots in all, including a diving stop with 2:21 left in the first overtime to deny an Engineer shot destined for the bottom left corner from a free kick
Clark University maintained a 17-14 advantage in shots throughout the contest, with nine of those coming in the second period. The two teams were matched in corner kicks throughout at seven apiece.
The No. 4 Cougars will travel to take on top-seeded WPI on Thursday, November 7 for the NEWMAC semifinals, with action starting at 4:00 pm.