Worcester, Mass. – Visiting WPI scored the game's first four goals and went on to knock off Worcester city rival Clark University, 4-2, in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer action on a frigid Tuesday evening.
With the win, the Engineers stay tied atop the conference standings with MIT in the race for the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the upcoming league tournament. Each team will enter Saturday's regular season final with 22 points, although WPI holds the tiebreaker between the two teams courtesy of their head-to-head victory in double overtime back on September 17.
Clark, meanwhile, is eliminated from postseason play with the loss despite a season in which they showed marked improvement, going from two wins in 2015 to eight in 2016 with one more game left to play.
Score: WPI 4, Clark University 2
Records: Clark University 8-8-1 (2-7 NEWMAC); WPI 13-2-2 (7-1-1 NEWMAC)
Location: Granger Soccer Turf, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Engineers actually had a pair of excellent scoring opportunities in the first half before they got their first strike. Sophie Gormarlo (Swanzey, N.H.) was on the attack when she got around a defender but her shot from the right corner of the box smacked off the corner of the crossbar.
Minutes later, the Crimson and Gray played a ball into the box and Gormarlo and Clark keeper Julianna Christy (Plainville, Conn.) collided knocking the ball free. Gormarlo was quick to her feet but her shot into the open net sailed wide left.
WPI finally broke through when Kristen McCrea (Weymouth, Mass.) raced up the right sideline and sent a pass to Mari Bailey (North Providence, R.I.) that she was able to slip past Christy for her third goal of the season at 35:11.
The visitors then erupted offensively, scoring three goals in less than 15 minutes to put the contest away early in the second half.
First, Gormarlo tapped a pass over to Emma Turton (Poland, Maine) who beat Christy to the right side at 46:24.
WPI was at it again when McCrea was on the move into the Clark zone and slotted a pass to a streaking Erin Bracken (Bridgewater, Mass.) who sent a blast into the back of the net in the 59th minute.
Less than two minutes later the Engineers dented the scoreboard again when Gormarlo was able to get control of a ball in traffic and register her fourth tally of the year at 60:51.
Down 4-0, the Scarlet and White got on the board when a Hannah Crook (Darnestown, Md.) free kick soared over the defense and bounced right to a waiting Macy Golman (Dallas, Texas) who headed home her first career goal at 66:20.
Clark had the lead down to two in the 72nd minute when Kara Fischer (Belmont, Mass.) made her way into the left side of the box and sent a pass to Megan Marocco (Swampscott, Mass.) who chipped a shot over the outstretched arms of reserve netminder Mandy St. Germain (Upton, Mass.).
Inside The Numbers:
The Engineers held a sizable advantage in shots, finishing with a 27-9 edge – 16 of which were on goal forcing Christy to make a career-best 12 stops.
WPI also recorded all eight of the game's corner kicks, including six in the first 45 minutes of action.
Gabi Hoops (Stonington, Conn.) needed to only make two saves in her 67 minutes to earn the win before giving way to St. Germain.
The Cougars will wrap up their 2016 campaign on Saturday with a road trip to Emerson. WPI, meanwhile, will host Mount Holyoke at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday as well.