Late Comeback Falls Short for Women's Soccer in NCAA Tournament Rematch with Trinity

Leah Beauton

Hartford, CT --- The Trinity Bantams posted their first win of the year and their first on the new pitch at Trinity Soccer Field, holding the visiting WPI Engineers without a shot over the game's first 57 minutes on their way to a 2-1 women's soccer victory this evening.  

Trinity is now 1-2 entering NESCAC contests against Hamilton and at Tufts this weekend.  WPI, ranked No. 8 in New England, drops to 4-2 with its second loss in-a-row.  The game was a rematch of a 2016 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament contest played in Upstate New York last November that ended scoreless after 110 minutes before Trinity advanced past the Engineers on penalty kicks. 

Trinity came out firing, as senior tri-captain back Sarah Connors (Winnetka, IL) nearly scored four minutes in but her blast from 30 yards away in front of the net bounced off the cross bar, and the Bantams outshot the Engineers, 15-0, over the first 45 minutes.  Engineer sophomore goalkeeper Mandy St. Germain (Upton, MA) had to leave her feet for early stops on hard shots by both Trinity first-year forward Samantha March (Glastonbury, CT) and junior forward Shannon Kennedy (Hartford, CT), but Trinity sophomore back Rhone O'Hara (Woodstock, CT) placed a shot from 40 yards out into the upper right of the net to give the home team a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.  Sophomore midfielder Olga Koszykowska (New Britain, CT) assisted O'Hara on the play. 

WPI got off its first shot 12 minutes into the second stanza, but the Bantams answered with a barrage of rockets from inside the box moments later that eventual led to the game's second goal.  St. Germain dove to save shots by March from the right and Kennedy from the middle but Trinity sophomore midfielder Tricia Pollock (Beverly, MA) settled the rebound of Kennedy's attempt on the left wing and sent a shot of her own into the upper half of the goal to give Trinity a 2-0 lead with 32:29 left.  

The Engineers finally put a shot on goal, but Trinity senior tri-captain Julia Pitino (Littleton, MA) saved the bouncing try by WPI rookie Leah Beauton (Colchester, Conn.) in the 62nd minute.  WPI sophomore midfielder Kristen McCrea (Weymouth, MA) cut the Trinity lead in half, using a pretty individual move to snake past the Bantam defense on the left sideline after a pass by Beauton and shooting into the goal over Pitino's right shoulder at the 66:02 mark.  Engineer All-New England goalkeeper Gabriela Hoops (Stonington, CT) came off the bench and joined Pitino with stops late in one-on-one situations to keep the score the same, while Kennedy had a shot in the 82nd minute carom off the cross bar.  Trinity gained possession late and ran out the clock.  

The Bantams finished with a 28-to-6 shooting advantage and had six corner kicks to just two for WPI.  St. Germain had seven saves and Hoops added five in 32 minutes, while Pitino made all three of her saves after halftime.

WPI opens NEWMAC play Saturday, hosting city rival Clark at 1pm.

Majority Release Courtesy Trinity (CT) Sports Information