Fitchburg, MA --- Eliza Dutson (Woodstock, CT) registered a hat trick, including a pair of third quarter penalty strokes, as the WPI field hockey team exploded for a season-best seven goals Monday afternoon as the visiting Engineers cruised to a 7-2 non-conference triumph on Monday afternoon against Fitchburg State.
WPI is now 2-3 on the season while the Falcons, who have lost three straight since an opening day victory, dip to 1-3 overall.
The Engineers notched a pair of goals to take an early 2-0 lead. Dutson collected a loose ball in the circle and deposited it in the back of the net for the sophomore's first goal of the season midway through the first quarter and junior Lauren Meinhold (Boxboro, MA) doubled the Engineer lead at the 18:45 mark.
The Falcons cut the deficit in half (2-1) with three minutes remaining in the second period. Freshman Sophia Yates (Woodstock, CT) threaded a backhanded pass to classmate Lena Kassel (Stuttgart, Germany) who tucked the ball past the WPI netminder. However, WPI regained the two-goal advantage with just four ticks remaining in the first half with a weak side goal from freshman Arie Lang (West Hartford, CT).
Dutson and Rachel Drasser (Lunenburg, MA) scored 1:03 apart early in the second half to push the Crimson and Gray advantage to 5-1 with the latter goal coming off an assist by Abigail Rauch (Jackson, NJ). Fitchburg State potted a goal off a blast from Kassel for her eighth goal of the season in the third period. WPI extended the lead to 7-2 with goals from Dutson and Abigail Rauch (Jackson, NJ) via helpers from Eve Martineau (Greene, ME) and Samantha Robison (Wrentham, MA) to close out the scoring.
It marked the seventh time in her two years that Dutson notched multiple goals in a game, as she tallied four in a victory over Bridgewater State and two markers on five different occasions a season ago.
The visitors held a 34-7 margin in shots, while also finishing with a 21-1 edge in penalty corners. Senior Nini Acquista (Longmeadow, MA) made three saves in net for WPI over the first quarters in the victory. Sophomore Ella Moreau (Huntington, MA) made a stop without allowing a goal in the fourth quarter. Jenna Morse (Leominster, MA) turned aside 10 shots for the Falcons in the setback.
WPI continues its busy three-game week on Wednesday with a 7pm road trip to No. 5 Trinity. Fitchburg State is off until Friday when it entertains Salem State in a 6pm Little East Conference affair.