Gray's Hat Trick Lifts Women's Soccer by Suffolk 4-0 in 2016 Opener

Susannah Gray

BOSTON -- Susannah Gray (York, ME) netted her first career hat trick as WPI women's soccer began the 2016 campaign by shutting out host Suffolk on Thursday evening at James A. Sartori Stadium in East Boston Memorial Park.  WPI is now 1-0 while the Rams are 0-1. 

With just six minutes until the sound of the first-half buzzer, Gray's shot was deflected off a Suffolk player and found its way into the Rams net to break open a scoreless game. 

Gray and Karina Larson (Storrs, CT) teamed up for the Engineers next two tallies. The first came at 69:56 when Larson sent a corner kick over the crowd in front of Suffolk's net and Gray's head connected just right to make things 2-0. The score moved up one at 77:06 on another header by Gray when Larson's free kick found the midfielder to make it a three-goal day for the junior. 

The final tally of the day was set up by a sliding past by Lizzie Rooney (Harvard, MA) through the left side to Mari Bailey (North Providence, RI), who headed in a shot past freshman Jordan Pettograsso (Charlotte, NC) for her second career marker to make it the final 4-0 score. 

"I am happy we were able to create and capitalize on set pieces during this game, as it's been a focus of ours for a while now," commented WPI head coach Steph Schafer  "Suffolk is a very disciplined and well organized team and that got to us in the first half. I think the players did well to adjust and solve the problems we were having. Overall, I am very pleased with overall effort and our ability to possess to find goals. Congrats to Suz and Mari for starting us off with 3 header goals!" 

In 80:08 minutes of action, sophomore Kirsten Weiker (Durham, NH) saved 84 percent of the 19 shots fired at her, giving up three goals.  In her collegiate debut, Pettograsso played 9:52 and the lone shot she saw slipped past her.  Gabi Hoops (Stonington, CT) faced just one shot on target and made the save to register her first win of the season and second career clean sheet. 

For the match, WPI attempted 38 of the 39 shots and all seven corner kicks. 

With just one day off, the Rams return to the turf in Eastie when they entertain Eastern Nazarene at 2pm on Saturday.  WPI is back in action the same day, hosting Salem State in its home opener at 1pm. 

Major portion of release courtesy Suffolk Sports Information

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