Hopkins and Rucco Fuel Men's Soccer's Second Half Explosion in City Tournament

Joe Rucco

Leicester, MA. --- Jason Hopkins (Mendon, MA) and Joe Rucco (Whitesboro, NY) each scored two goals as WPI defeated Becker, 8-0, in the finals of the 2012 Worcester City Men's Soccer Tournament on Sunday at Alumni Field on the Becker campus. WPI used a second half offensive explosion to win th third city championship in four years. The Engineers open their season at 2-0 while the Hawks of Becker start at 1-1. 

WPI is now 9-1 all-time in the recently renewed Worcester City Tournament and the 2008, 2010 and 2011 champions have won eight straight contests over the last four years.

The game was hotly contested in the opening minutes. Becker goalkeeper Tim MacDonald (Holden, Mass.) tallied save after save to keep the score knotted at zero. WPI finally broke through in the 37th minute as Chris Ciampa (Danvers, MA) found the back of the net with an assist to Connor Bolton (Warwick, RI). The Engineers outshot the Hawks in the opening period, 20-2, with MacDonald racking up ten saves for the Hawks. 

Two minutes into the second period, Hopkins put WPI up 2-0, breaking through a cluster of players in the box for the score. Sean Galligan (Weymouth, MA) was credited with an assist. Hopkins scored again on a breakaway in the 53rd minute, taking a pass from Kurt Naugler (Westford, MA). 

The Becker defense that had been stalwart all day started to buckle. Christopher Murray (Canton, MA) finished another breakaway from Stephen Partridge (Worcester, MA) in the 63rd minute, and Connor King (Douglas, MA) received a brilliant cross in front of the goal from Ciampa just 22 seconds later to give WPI a commanding 5-0 advantage. Sam Russell (Glastonbury, CT) scored in the 67th minute.  

Rucco outran the Becker defense and finished in the 72nd minute, following up with a penalty kick five minutes later capping off the offensive explosion for the Engineers. 

WPI outshot Becker 38-3 on the day, while McDonald finished with 15 saves for Becker. Jeff Wong (Millington, NJ) and Michael DeMarco (Staten Island, NY) combined in net to keep the Hawks off the scoreboard.

The Crimson and Gray received their championship trophy in a postgame ceremony emceed by Becker Athletic Director Frank Millerick. WPI's Christopher Murray was named tournament MVP, having scored three goals in two games. 

Becker will look to bounce back as they head to Mass Maritime on Wednesday for a 7pm contest. WPI will head to Elms on Thursday with a start time of 7pm.

Release Courtesy Becker Sports Information