#13 Wellesley Field Hockey Downs #19 MIT to Clinch Top Seed in NEWMAC

#13 Wellesley Field Hockey Downs #19 MIT to Clinch Top Seed in NEWMAC
WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The #13 Wellesley College field hockey team clinched the top-seed in the NEWMAC Tournament with a 4-1 victory over #19 MIT on Tuesday afternoon. The Blue improve to 7-0 in the NEWMAC, 14-2 overall, while MIT dips to 5-1 in the NEWMAC, 12-3 overall.

Wellesley used a strong second half to out-pace the Engineers. The Blue finished the game with a 19-7 advantage in shots, including 17 second half chances. Wellesley also doubled up MIT on corner attempts, out-drawing the Engineers, 8-4.

With only NEWMAC one game remaining for Wellesley, the win secured the Blue the top seed in the upcoming playoffs. Wellesley will host the tournament semifinals on Saturday, November 9th, and the finals on Sunday, November 10th. MIT

A slow first half featured just three total shots and a pair of corner attempts between the two teams. After a lengthy midfield battle that spanned much of the half, it was Wellesley that broke through first, making it 1-0 in the 33rd minute. Nathalie Gruet started the play, attacking the circle, before coming across the front of the stroke line to shoot. Hannah Flesch then deflected Gruet's shot into the left side of the cage for the score. 

Wellesley turned up the pressure in the second half, out-shooting MIT, 17-6, and holding a 7-3 edge in corners. The Blue scored three times between the 45th and 57th-minutes, before MIT added a 63rd-minute goal to set the final to 4-1 Wellesley.

Nikki Sharkin scored the Blue's second goal, converting a sweeping shot from Flesch on the right side of the circle. Gruet then made it 3-0 deflecting Sharkin's hard hit ball from the left on a corner piece. Six minutes later, Gruet finished off the Wellesley scoring with an unassisted tally on a hard shot coming from the top of the circle after a reset.

MIT's lone score came from Michelle Teplensky with under seven minutes to play. Finding Wellesley out of position after a swing and a miss, Teplensky knocked a hard ball from five yards out that found the back of the cage. 

Gruet, Flesch, and Sharkin all finished with multiple points for the Blue. Gruet recorded a five-point game with her two goals and one assist, while Flesch and Sharkin each had three points on one goal and one assist. 

Wellesley's Brit Mscisz picked up her 13th victory of the season, playing just over 63 minutes, recording a pair of saves. Lucy Hurlock played the final seven minutes in the cage for the Blue, not allowing a goal. 

MIT's Evie Kyritsis was handed just her third loss of the year, making five saves in 63 minutes of work. Paige Kennedy came on for the final seven minutes, recording four total saves. 

Wellesley is back in action on Saturday, hosting Clark at 12:00pm in the Blue's NEWMAC regular-season finale. The game will also serve as senior day for Wellesley. MIT has a pair of NEWMAC regular season games left, hosting Mount Holyoke on the 26th, and then hosting Babson on November 2nd.