Fitchburg, MA --- Sophomore Mercedes Kuzina (Concord, NH) tallied the game-winning score with just over one minute remaining in regulation to propel WPI over Fitchburg State, 1-0 in non-conference field hockey action at Elliot Field this evening.
Following a scoreless first half, Fitchburg nearly broke the 0-0 deadlock in the 62nd minute of play as freshman Erin Morrissey (Hubbardston, MA) slipped a shot past WPI net-minder Lauren Puishys (Oxford, MA) but freshman back SarahRose Gabor (Cazenovia, NY) was there to made the defensive save.
Minutes later, the Falcons saw another scoring chance denied when senior Jamie Kelley (Pepperell, MA) blasted a shot from the right side that sailed just outside the near post. That set the stages for Kuzina's game-winner (1-0) at the 68:38 mark as the sophomore forward took a feed from classmate Nicole Holmes (Plymouth, MA) and tucked the ball inside the right post for her third marker of the season.
In the opening frame, WPI almost grabbed the lead just 42 seconds into the contest as sophomore Mary-Lee Barboza (Rochester, MA) blasted a shot from the right of the circle but Falcon goalkeeper Lucy Holewa (Londonderry, NH) was able to make the save. The Falcons best opportunity came at the 13:33 mark, when sophomore Bryana McGrath (Lunenburg, MA) fired a shot on target that was turned aside by Engineer goalie Liz Dufresne (Worcester, MA) to preserve the 0-0 stalemate going into the break. Dufresne made four saves for the Crimson and Gray in her 35 minutes of work in the first half.
Throughout the match, WPI out shot Fitchburg State 23-12, while holding a narrow 9-6 margin in penalty corners. In the cage, Holewa collected 13 stops for the Falcons in the complete game effort, while Puishys earned the win in net for WPI, recording two second half saves in 35 minutes of action for the Engineers.
Fitchburg State (6-10) will be back in action on Saturday as it hosts Worcester State at 10am. WPI (7-10) will host Elms on Saturday in its season finale at 4pm.
Release Courtesy Fitchburg State Sports Information