WORCESTER – Sophomore Leah Beauton (Colchester, CT) and junior Kristen McCrea (Weymouth, MA) scored 44 seconds apart early in the first half, and McCrea went on to complete a natural hat-trick, to lead WPI past Worcester State, 4-0, Tuesday afternoon inside Alumni Stadium.
It is the Engineers first hat-trick since Sophie Gomarlo versus UMass Dartmouth a year ago, and first of the natural variety since the 2016 season opener at Suffolk. The home team has won each of the last three meetings between the Worcester-based clubs.
Sophomore Sofia Orrico (Bethel, CT) sent a through ball to Beauton for the initial tally at 4:28. McCrea then doubled the Engineers score with help from senior Juliana Cabello (Smithtown, NY) at 5:12.
Defensively, senior Gabriela Hoops (Stonington, CT), who tallied four saves in the first half, had to make a diving stop on junior Skylar Alves' (Ashburnham, MA) free kick at 34:21. Moments later, the Lancers had another good opportunity off the foot of junior Christina Spinos (Wilmington, MA) following a corner.
McCrea literally struck again at 42:34 from the left side to make it 3-0 heading into the intermission. Sophomore Lauren Kaija (Reading, VT), meanwhile, picked up her first point of the season.
Junior Mandy St. Germain (Worcester, MA) assumed goalkeeper duties to begin the second half for the third consecutive outing and made one save. McCrea deposited a long-range shot into the upper left 90 to complete the hat-trick at 50:34.
Lancer sophomore Ashley Spellman (Lancaster, MA) halted six in the complete-game effort. Sophomore Ali Maldonado (Rutland, MA) and senior Nikki DiPilla (Sterling, MA) also took aim at the Crimson and Gray goalkeeping duo.
Bolstered by a 10-6 advantage in the first half, the Engineers ended the game with the 15-10 margin in shots. The Lancers were awarded two corners in the first 45 and the Engineers were awarded a pair the rest of the way.
WPI (5-0) opens its NEWMAC slate at Clark Saturday at 1:30pm. Worcester State (1-4) entertains Becker Thursday at 7pm.