WORCESTER -- Brendan Nemes (Kingston, MA) tallied a goal in each half and Zack Chapman (Groveland, MA) cleared a ball off the line to highlight a shutout as WPI opened the 2016 season by blanking visiting Nichols 3-0 Thursday evening.
Freshman Mark Calnan (Winchester, MA) nearly got the Engineers twice in the opening moments but saw his shots sail wide then high. The Bison had their best opportunity about 11 minutes into the match when Zachary Lemire (Lowell, MA) blasted a shot that was initially blocked by WPI goalkeeper Connor Hoeckele (Granby, MA) and then swept out of danger by Chapman as it began to roll towards the net.
Nemes broke into the scoring column early in the 33rd minute when he beat multiple Nichols players and shot into the lower right corner. The junior helped the Crimson and Gray double its advantage at 73:06 when he volleyed a pass from Spencer Ralphs (Simsbury, CT) the ball into the bottom left corner for his second marker of the match and eighth of his career.
WPI added an insurance goal when Riley Doherty (Shrewsbury, MA) converted a penalty kick four minutes later after freshman Jackson Conroy (Reading, MA) was taken down in the box. It was the third career goal for the returning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year.
Senior captain Tyler Brenner (Stuart, FL) accounted for two of Nichols' five shots while Bison goalkeeper Patrick Porpora (Westminster, MA) was credited with four stops on the night.
The shutout marked the ninth career clean sheet for Hoeckele. The hosts enjoyed a 11-7 edge in shots while each team attempted three corner kicks.
WPI heads to the road next for its only Sunday regular season contest. The Engineers head across the city to take on Worcester State at noon. Nichols is back in action Saturday at 2:30pm, opening a two-game home stand by entertaining New England College.
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