Second Half Surge Dooms Women’s Soccer at Wellesley

Megan Forti

Wellesley, MA --- Sophomore defender LJ Foster (Safety Harbor, FL) netted an improbable hat trick leading the Wellesley soccer team to a 5-1 victory over NEWMAC-rival WPI on Saturday.

The win considerable helps the Blue's playoff chances, shifting their conference mark to 3-5 (4-10-3 overall), while WPI drops from playoff contention with a 2-6 NEWMAC record (3-12-1 overall). 

Foster's heroics turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 Wellesley advantage in just six minutes of work. Coming off the bench, all three of her scores were unassisted, and also marked the first three goals of her collegiate career.

WPI broke through first, as Megan Forti (Lynn, MA) put the Engineers on the board in the 26th minute. The sophomore got the ball on the wing, sprinted past three Wellesley defenders, and launched a shot from half field that found its way over the Blue keeper's head.

Wellesley tied the game at 1-1 in the 37th minute of play, as Ava Mohktari's (Eden Prairie, MN) header into the back of the net finished a perfectly executed free-kick from Megan Turchi (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA). Both teams were able to get off a shot in the remaining minutes of the half, but each goalie recorded a save to keep things at 1-1.

After the start of the second half, Foster needed just over two and a half minutes to begin her scoring spree. Her first goal came at 47:34, after a drive in from the corner and a shot off the hands of the WPI keeper. Foster's second score happened just three and a half minutes later, with a high ball from outside the box. Two minute later, her third goal also came off a long ball, this one hitting the inside of the cross bar and ricocheting across the line, earning her the hat trick, and giving Wellesley a 4-1 advantage.

The Blue would add one more score in the 90th minute, as a long ground ball pass from Turchi was knocked home by Lena Cardoso, sealing Wellesley's 5-1 victory.

In goal for the Blue, first-year Claire Cerda (Coral Gables, FL) played the first 45 minutes, recording two saves. Senior SJ Gray (Montclair, VA) earned the win, making three saves in the final 45 minutes. For WPI, Maddie Willer (Penfield, NY) suffered the loss, making eight saves, including six in the first period.

The Blue are currently in sole possession of the sixth and final playoff spot, carrying nine points. Clark (10 points) and Mount Holyoke (six points) sit in the fifth and seventh spots.  WPI (four points) has dropped from playoff contention, needing a win or a tie today to stay in the race.

Wellesley is back in action on Wednesday, October 26th, traveling to non-conference opponent Simmons at 7pm. WPI will host cross-town rival Becker on Thursday, October 27th in a 7pm non-conference clash.

Release courtesy Wellesley Sports Information