Worcester, MA --- WPI senior Sam Russell (Glastonbury, CT) and junior Chris Murray (Canton, MA) both potted first half markers to help lead the Engineers to a 2-0 victory over Worcester State in the opening round of the Worcester City Tournament at Clark's Granger Field.
WPI, who has won or shared four tournament crowns in the last five years, has an 11-game tournament unbeaten streak (10-0-1) with shutouts in nine out of the last 11 contests.
The four team tip-off competition continues on Sunday when the Lancers will play Clark at Becker in a 1pm matchup while the Boynton Hillers play again in a 3 o'clock match-up against the hosting Hawks.
Russell helped WPI strike first in the 17th minute when he slipped past the WSU back line and struck home a pass from senior Shane Fagan (Middletown, RI). The Engineers took advantage of a free kick at midfield that Lancer net minder Tim Schmidt (Southwick, MA) came out of the net to play on the right side of the box.
Murray helped the Boynton Hillers extend the advantage to 2-0 with just under three minutes remaining in the first period after he took a feed from the left side of the net from classmate Brien Hard (New Hartford, CT).
Worcester State had their chances to get back into the contest in the final frame as they finished with the 6-1 edge in shots on goal.
In the 61st minute, freshman Joshua Evans (Springfield, MA) connected on a ball from the midfield right to senior Kyle Venne (Ludlow, MA) in the box, but WPI freshman goalie Connor Hoeckele (Granby, CT) turned aside the ball with a diving stop.
The Lancers again had another great bid in the 72nd minute when senior Derek Alves (Ludlow, MA) was alone in front of the net. Hoeckele though stonewalled the effort and he flicked away a header by Evans moments later.
While WPI ended the contest with the overall margin in shots (16-14), it was actually Worcester State who held the 7-6 edge in attempts on goal.
Hoeckele collected seven saves for the Crimson and Gray in the victory as Schmidt finished with four for the Lancers.
Release Courtsey Worcester State Sports Information
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