Worcester, MA --- Jason Hopkins (Mendon, MA) and Christopher Murray (Canton, MA) each registered a goal and then WPI withstood a furious Clark offensive push as the Engineers defeated the visiting Cougars 2-1 in a NEWMAC men's soccer match-up on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, WPI ups its record to 8-4 on the season and 2-3 in conference play while Clark falls to 6-8 overall and 2-3 in NEWMAC action.
WPI wasted no time breaking into the scoring column when Hopkins scooped up a ball that originally had been blocked near the box and rifled a shot far post for his sixth goal. The marker came just 32 seconds into the match and was WPI quickest scoring strike since at least 2005.
Clark had several strong bids to tie the game, especially in the 70th minute when WPI's Kurt Naugler (Westford, MA) cleared a Will Van Noppen (Providence, RI) shot off the line and 37 seconds later Kenneth Vera's (Franklin Park, NY) bid hit the post.
The Engineers got much needed insurance tally early in the 74th minute when Stephen
Partridge (Worcester, MA) sent a lovely feed across into the middle of the box to freshman Christopher Murray (Canton, MA) who headed a ball to the far left post for his sixth goal of the season.
Clark quickly responded less than three minutes later when Kent Vorland (Kristiansand, Norway) took a ball into the box and fired home his third goal of 2012 past the sprawling goalkeeper at 75:33. The Cougars took the only eight shots after its goal but WPI's defense blocked four of them and goalkeeper Jeff Wong (Millington, NJ) made two saves to preserve the Engineer win.
Wong made four saves on the day for WPI while his Clark counterpart Ryan King (Brimfield, MA) turned away three shots for the Cougars.
For the game, Clark sported a 20-12 advantage in shots and attempted 11 of the game's 14 corner kicks.
WPI has a quick turnaround, hosting Wentworth at 7pm on Monday in the second game of a four-match homestand. Clark is back in action Wednesday, hosting Emmanuel at 6pm.