WORCESTER -- Goals from Abigail Rauch (Jackson, NJ) and Lauren Dishong (Milford, NH) combined with a stout defense, carried the #3 WPI field hockey team to a 2-0 win over #6 Wellesley in the opening round of the 2022 NEWMAC Tournament.
The Engineers (12-7), ranked fifth regionally, now move on to the NEWMAC tournament semifinals for the third-straight season. WPI will face second-seeded MIT on Thursday in Cambridge at 6pm. The first battle of the Engineers saw MIT outlast WPI, 4-2, on October 29.
Wellesley sees its 2022 campaign end with a 7-11 overall mark.
WPI did not allow a Wellesley shot in the first half, while racking up five shots and three penalty corners. However, the Engineers couldn't find the back of the cage either and after two quarters, the game was knotted at 0-0.
Just over four minutes into the third quarter, a WPI penalty corner broke the stalemate. An insertion from Eliza Dutson (Woodstock, CT) found Lauren Meinhold (Boxboro, MA) who passed it to Rauch who scored her fourth goal of the season, giving the Engineers a 1-0 advantage.
Wellesley had its first offensive chance of the game a little over a minute later, but Alex Lenart (Princeton Junction, N.J.) sent a shot wide of the cage.
WPI pushed the advantage to 2-0 in the 43rd minute. A quick tap from Arie Lang (West Hartford, CT) to Dishong gave the graduate student her team-leading 11th goal of the year.
WPI had a pair of early fourth-quarter shots from Dutson go wide, before the Blue had their best chances of the evening. With under two minutes to play, shots from Penny Juarez (Los Angelos, CA) and Keller Gardner (Falmouth, ME) were both stopped by Nini Acquista (Longmeadow, MA) and the WPI defense thwarted one final Wellesley penalty corner and shot to seal the shutout.
Overall, the WPI defense allowed the Blue only four shots on the evening, just two on goal. For Wellesley, keeper Kyra Deehr-Lewis (Newtown, PA) made three saves on five shots.