Late surge lifts WPI past Pilgrims in ECAC action
Worcester, Mass. --- WPI rallied with three goals in less than two minutes late in the second half to defeat visiting New England 3-1 in an ECAC Division III New England field hockey quarterfinal contest on Wednesday evening. The fourth-seeded Engineers, who were making their first ECAC Tournament appearance since 1993, improve to 12-6 on the season. Fifth- seeded NEC sees its season come to an end with a 14-9 mark.
WPI advances to Saturday’s semifinals where they will face eight-seeded Plymouth State, a 3-2 upset winner over top seeded Keene State. The semifinals and championship will be held at second-seeded University of New England in Biddeford, ME.
Trailing 1-0 with just under 12 minutes remaining, the Engineers evened the match on a penalty corner. Kelly Johnson (Buxton, ME) netted her team-best 11th goal following an insertion from Maggie Wiggly (Bridgewater, MA) and a stick stop by Paige Hanson (East Hartford, CT).
The Crimson and Gray took the lead for good just 1:07 later when Sasha Marokhovsky’s (Upton, MA) shot deflected off a New England College defender and into the back of the net. WPI added an insurance marker just 51 seconds later when Wiggly buried a quick pass from Meghan Linskey (Bridgewater, MA) into the lower left corner for her third tally of the fall.
After a scoreless first, the Pilgrims dented the scoring column just 4:17 into the second half. Samantha Escobar (Rumney, NH) ripped a backhand following a pass by Marisa Ayotte (Feeding Hills, MA) for her team-high 19th goal of the year.
Allie Griffin (Billerica, MA) was stellar in between the pipes for WPI, the senior made nine saves, including a kick save in the closing seconds. NEC netminder Mary Roux (Auburn, MA) was credited with three stops for the Pilgrims
New England College enjoyed a slight 12-9 edge in shots while taking 11 of the game’s 15 penalty corners.
(Courtesy of WPI Sports Information)