WORCESTER -- Worcester State University's sophomore striker Kaitlin Beluzo (E. Longmeadow, MA) netted a hat trick to guide the Lancers to a 3-0 win over WPI, dealing the Engineers their first loss of the season, and third in the past 30 matches, in a Tuesday evening matchup at Coughlin Field.
Following three back-to-back WPI (4-1) corner kicks, Worcester State (2-1-2) began the scoring in the 13th minute when rookie Maddie Fong (Norton, MA) setup Beluzo for a shot in front of the goal, about 10-yards out in the center. The Lancers would double their lead in the 35th minute when Beluzo registered her second tally of the night as she ran the ball into the box from the right side, and rocketed the ball past WPI's goaltender, Mandy St. Germain (Upton, MA) for the 2-0 gain.
Beluzo completed the hat trick in the 64th minute when she turned on a defender following a throw-in and smashed the ball into the back of the net. Worcester State possessed the ball for the remainder of the second stanza, as they only allowed WPI three more shots and a corner kick, in comparison to seven Worcester shots and four Lancer corner kick opportunities.
Worcester State's freshman goaltender, Jill Zinkus (Grafton, MA) earned her second collegiate shutout in a 5-save performance. St. Germain suffered her first loss of the season as she turned away 2-of-5 shots on goal. Four of Worcester State's five shots on net came from Beluzo. Nikki DiPilla (Sterling, MA) recorded the fifth. WPI's five shots on net came from Lizzie Rooney (Harvard, MA), Kirsten Southan (Owings, MD), Hannah Modelski (Hollis, NH), Sophie Gomarlo (Swanzey, NH), and Karina Larson (Storrs, CT).
The hosts held a 15-12 margin in shots, while each team registered five goals on net. The Lancers also held a 7-6 edge in corner kicks. Five of the Lancers' seven came in the second half.
Both Worcester State and WPI resume play on Thursday. Worcester State heads to Becker for a 6pm game, while the Engineers, who entered the game eighth in the latest United Soccer Coaches regional poll, travel to Trinity for a 2016 NCAA First Round rematch at 6:30pm.
Release Courtesy Worcester State Sports Information