Field Hockey Drops Tight Road Contest With City Foe Worcester State

Jena Mazzucco

WORCESTER -- In a close cross town rivalry game, the Worcester State Lancers held on to a 2-1 victory against visiting WPI and improve to 2-3 on the season as Julie O'Rourke (Worcester, MA) and Erika Lepowski (Baldwinville, MA) each scored to help lead the Lancers a win. 

The first 10 minutes of the game was controlled by the Lancers. The blue and gold owned possession and kept the ball in the WPI end, but could not seem to finish until Lepowski broke the tie at 8:31. Krissy Kenney (Rehoboth, MA) picked up a loose ball about 20 yards out and ripped a hard high shot on goal. A great display of hand-eye coordination by Lepowski let her tip the whistling shot into the goal from five yards out to give the Lancers the vital first goal. 

With 20 minutes left in the half, WPI was seeking a spark to get them back into the game, which they got from an acrobatic save by their net minder, Lauren Puishys (Oxford, MA.). After a bouncing ball was picked up by Worcester State, the ball found its way on goal and Puishys was ready for the task. Puishys adjusted herself and made a full split save which kept the game at a 1-0 score. 

Two minutes later that save would prove to give the Engineers the trigger they needed. At 17:41Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) dished out a great pass to Jena Mazzucco (Danbury, CT) who then made a split second move past the Lancers goalkeeper and tucked in the tying goal. 

The momentum would not stay with the Engineers for long. At 31:44, after an inbound pass off the penalty corner, Hayley Sutherland (Tewksbury, MA) made a great play to keep possession of the ball. She then passed the ball to the ready O'Rourke, who one-timed a bullet into the left side of the goal to give the Lancers the 2-1 lead. 

The start of the second half was almost polar opposite to the start of the first half, minus the scoring. WPI gave relentless pressure, though, the ball could not find a way to get out of Worcester State's end for the first 10 minutes of the half. Eventually, the pressure would go back and forth between the two competitive sides for the remainder of the half. 

WPI almost tied up the game towards the end of regulation, as Shevchuk had a great opportunity to score a huge goal but Worcester State's substitute keeper, Kathryn Salemme (Boxboro, MA), made a huge save to keep the ball out of the goal. That save was not the end of the play though, as Caroline Mazzola (Harvard, MA) received the rebound and the shot just went wide.  That would prove to be the final chance for the Engineers as Worcester State would hold on to the 2-1 victory. 

Throughout the entirety of the game, WPI had a 19-10 advantage in shots, though, Worcester State held the 5-3 advantage in penalty corners. 

The Lancers are back in action in a huge conference battle against Western Connecticut State University on Saturday at 2:00 on John F. Coughlin Field. WPI will be on the road this Saturday, as they travel to Smith to open NEWMAC play at 2:30pm.

Release Courtesy Worcester State Sports Information - Connor Haynes Intern