October 17th, Waltham, MA, 2018; It has been a stellar debut collegiate season so far for GPS MA alum Karenna Groff who has played a pivotal role for MIT as their 11-2-2 record sees them ranked #14 in the national NCAA DIII polls.
Groff scored her first career goal for the Engineers in the opening game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Carleton before being kept off the scoresheet in their 3-2 loss to #25 Brandeis the following day.
Groff would earn her first collegiate start the following game while MIT visited Worcester State University.
She would make the occasion a historic one as she scored a hat trick in 51 seconds during the 1st half, the second fastest hat trick in NCAA Women Div 3 soccer.
Groff was pushed out wide to the wing, an unnatural position for the attacking midfielder, but that clearly didn’t put her off her game.
She would score her first goal after receiving a perfectly slotted ball from her centre forward before calmly slotting it away. MIT won the ball immediately off of the restart with Groff receiving the ball out wide, she drove inward and let off a shot from 30 yards out which found its way to the top right hand corner for her second goal.
She would make history on a goal very similar to her second with MIT winning the ball off of the restart once again. Groff would receive a ball from her left back and cut inside again, this time finding the lower left corner with her shot.
“It felt amazing to score three goals in only my third collegiate game, and first one starting,” said Groff of her historic game. “Even though college soccer has definitely been an adjustment, I felt like in that moment I knew I was capable of making a real contribution.”
Groff would flash a glimpse of her playmaking abilities in MIT’s 10-2 win against Mount Holyoke over Columbus Day weekend, adding a hat trick of assists to her cabinet. This was the most goals scored by MIT since a 2002 game against Emmanuel College. 8 of the 10 goals against Holyoke came in the 1st half.
So far on the season she has appeared in all 15 games for the Engineers, earning 8 starts during that span. She has made an instant impact for the Engineers, sitting in the top 5 on her squad for goals, assists and points. In total she has put 9 goals in the back of the net along with assisting a further 5.
The 9 goals is good for 2nd on the MIT squad, Sophia Struckman leads the team with 12, and her 5 assists sees her ranked 3rd on the team.
The Weston High School graduate is no stranger to on-field success, having racked up 48 goals and 34 assists during her high school career while also winning the 2017 State Cup and 2017 NPL title with GPS.
“GPS has helped me tremendously to prepare for this level of play,” said Groff recounting her time at the club. “I joined GPS in 6th grade, and am so lucky to have gotten to play with some of the best teammates I could ever imagine since then. I made some of my best friends to this day on our team, and we helped each other to achieve our dreams of playing college soccer. Also, Lee Moyce has been a huge part of my development as both a player and a person. I would not be where I am today without him and my GPS teammates.”
Groff will be looking to continue her early season form in MIT’s remaining 10 games as they look to qualify for the NEWMAC Tournament.
“Right now we are all working towards being NEWMAC regular season and tournament champions. We are currently first place in the conference, with a 7-0 record in NEWMAC play,” said Groff laying out her vision for a successful season. “In the postseason, I really hope to make it far into the NCAA tournament. My dream is to win a national championship, and we are all working hard to make that dream a reality.”
Karenna and the MIT Engineers will be back in action this Saturday Oct 20th when they travel to take on Springfield College in a NEWMAC play.