WORCESTER – Nikki Sharkin's (Summit, NJ) goal early in the second half was the difference as nationally-ranked Wellesley spoiled Homecoming by defeating host WPI 3-1 in a NEWMAC field hockey contest played on Saturday morning.
The Blue, ranked 20th in the most recent NFHCA Top 20, improved to 6-5 overall and 3-2 in conference action. The Engineers slip to 5-7 overall and 1-4 against NEWMAC competition.
Sharkin's tally came less than five minutes after WPI have leveled the game at 1-1. Moments after a corner, the senior co-captain dribbled into the middle of the box and drove her shot into bottom left corner for her fifth goal of the year at 41:09. Trailing 1-0 at the half, the Crimson and Gray had evened the score when Jena Mazzucco (Danbury, CT) buried a feed into the center of the goal after a nifty feed by rookie Shannon Hynes (Auburn, MA) just 1:27 into the second stanza. It was the senior's fifth goal of the season and 14th of her career.
WPI, who was held to just one shot and no penalty corners in the opening 60 minutes, mounted a serious comeback in the final 10 minutes, but the Blue got a defensive save by Mitzi Wiggin (North Hampton, NH) and successfully fended off three corners. Wellesley finished the scoring following a corner after time had expired when Kerry Wells (Portland, ME) knocked home a goal off a pass by Rachel Hwang (Campbell, CA).
Wellesley had the only marker of the first half as Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, CT) knocked home her own rebound into the middle of the net for her first goal of the season at 23:28.
The Blue held a 10-3 advantage in shots and a 14-3 edge in penalty corners. Lucy Hurlock (Needham, MA) made one save in a winning effort for Wellesley while Karen Noble (Mariaville, ME) was strong in net for WPI, totaling five stops on the day.
WPI is off until next Saturday due to A term exams. The Engineers are back in action at home on Saturday, October 15th, entertaining Anna Maria at 2:30pm. Wellesley returns to the field on Tuesday, hosting Connecticut College at 4pm.