WORCESTER -- Carly Cidado's (Easton, MA) goal in the waning seconds capped a wild comeback as WPI rallied from a 3-1 halftime deficit to defeated visiting Wellesley 4-3 in the NEWMAC field hockey opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon.
The comeback - WPI's second straight from a two-goal second half deficit - keeps the Engineers undefeated on the season at 5-0 while the Blue dips to 2-3 overall.
Trailing 3-1 at the break, WPI leveled the scoreboard with a pair of goals just 2:05 apart. Abby O'Sullivan (Walpole, MA) got the rally started with her second of the game at 44:39 before Bridget Sullivan (Wilmington, MA) knocked home a feed in traffic from Shannon Hynes (Auburn, MA) at 46:44 to even the game at 3-3.
Both teams had chances in the final minutes, but it was Cidado who tipped home an O'Sullivan shot from the top of the arc with just nine seconds remaining in regulation to send the Crimson and Gray fans into a frenzy with the game-winning goal.
O'Sullivan got WPI on the board first when she rebounded her own shot for a goal just 1:01. With her two goals Saturday, the sophomore now has eight on the season and 19 in 21 career games.
At that point it was the Wellesley offense that took over as the Blue netted three goals in a span of 6:05 to spring ahead 3-1. Arielle Mitropoulos (Cambridge, MA) began the barrage when she knocked home a pass by Rachel Hwang (Campbell, CA) at 9:15. The Blue went ahead exactly two minutes later after Danielle Brubacker (Princeton Junction, NJ) scored from a nifty feed of the stick of Maddie Bettencourt (Virginia Beach, VA). Hannah Maisano (Grambrills, MD) capped off the scoring spree with a snipe from the top of the arc for her second goal of the season at 15:20.
Karen Mushrall (Mariaville, ME) was called on to make three saves en route to earning the victory in net for WPI. Wellesley goalkeeper Maggie Connelly (Duxbury, MA) recorded 10 saves on the day while Kerry Wells (Portland, ME) added to the Blue defensive effort with a defensive save.
WPI enjoyed a 21-7 advantage in shots and an 8-4 edge in penalty corners.
The Engineers are back in action Wednesday when they close out a three-game home stand against Connecticut College at 6:30pm. Wellesley is back at it on Sunday, entertaining Wellesley at noon.
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