Boston, MA --- Senior forward Matt Farrell (Groveland, MA) recorded three points on a goal and assist to power the WPI men's soccer team past Emmanuel College, 3-1, Monday evening in non-conference action at Roberto Clemente Field.
The Engineers, who were ranked No. 10 in the most recent NCAA Division III NSCAA Coaches' Poll, improve to 5-1-1 on the year while the loss dips the Saints to 3-3-1 overall.
The Saints had a few chances early to get on the board first but came up empty on all three chances. The first came on a header off a corner kick by senior forward Colin O'Donnell (Killingworth, CT) that was denied by WPI junior keeper Jordan Finzel (Northport, NY). O'Donnell had another prime opportunity with about 25 minutes to play in the first half, beating a defender off the dribble with a cut inside to open up a right-footed strike to the far post. The shot beat Finzel but deflected off the inside of the post across the goal mouth and out of play. The final Emmanuel chance came off another corner, this time finding the head of senior back Jordan Maurer (Florence, MA) but the shot was once again right at Finzel to keep the game scoreless.
Shortly after, the Engineers capitalized and made it a 1-0 game with sophomore forward Spencer Ralphs' (Simsbury, CT) second goal of the season. A ball played deep into Emmanuel territory was deflected back towards the WPI goal but Farrell was able to settle the ball in Ralph's direction. Ralph did the rest with a brilliant volley into the near side of the goal at the 21:46 marker to put the visitors ahead by a goal.
WPI added to the lead at 34:29 as Farrell found the back of the net for the third time this season to make it 2-0. Junior midfielder Andrew Rottier (Plainville, CT) played a through ball to Farrell who took one touch before beating EC freshman keeper Jonathan Ferrarini (Hanover, MA) with a low shot, giving the Engineers the two-goal lead heading into the half. The goal would prove to be the eventual game-winner.
The visitors owned a 15-5 shots advantage in the opening frame with both teams attempting three corner kicks.
The Saints pressed in in the second half, forcing much of the action down towards the Engineers goal. Sophomore Alex DeSaulnier (Wilbraham, MA) made things interesting with his sixth goal of the season to cut the lead in half at 2-1 with just over 18 minutes to play in regulation. Freshman midfielder Jack Barbour (Hollis, NH) played a one-time chip into the box to find DeSaulnier who took one touch to get past the back line and a second for the right-footed finish.
Emmanuel never had a chance to get the equalizer as the Engineers scored an insurance goal in the 79th minute of play to make it 3-1. Freshman Luke Reiniger (Rowley, MA) netted his first collegiate goal in a transition play to seal the WPI win. Junior defender Derrick Naugler (Westford, MA) sent a ball right the right side deep into the Emmanuel box and Reininger did the rest, volleying home the first goal of his career for the Engineers.
WPI finished the night with a 26-9 shots advantage as well as a 4-3 lead in corners.
Finzel improves to 2-0 on the year in goal for the Engineers, making five saves in net for the win while Ferrarini falls to 3-3-1 making five saves for Emmanuel.
WPI is idle until Saturday when it faces Wheaton College on the road in a 1:00 PM NEWMAC battle. The Saints return to action on Wednesday afternoon when they head to Dean College for a 4:00 PM non-conference tilt.
Release Courtesy Emmanuel Sports Information