NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior captain Sophie Pollinger (Summit, N.J.) recorded her first career hat trick in the first quarter, but it wasn't enough, as WPI rallied to earn a 5-4 victory over the Connecticut College field hockey team on Tuesday afternoon at Silfen Field.
Pollinger scored her first goal just 49 seconds into the contest when she collected a loose ball and took an off-balance near the right endline. She then doubled the margin shortly after a penalty corner midway through the quarter by collecting a loose ball following a hard shot by classmate Hannah Falvey (Hingham, Mass.) which was blocked by an Engineer defender.
Abby O'Sullivan, who scored four times in the game, then caught fire and scored back-to-back goals for WPI (12-0) to even the score. Bridget O'Sullivan first stole the ball from the defense off a free hit and found the visitor's top scorer with 4:44 remaining before O'Sullivan added another less than two minutes later by potting her own rebound.
After O'Sullivan matched Pollinger's scoring numbers, the two forwards then traded goals before the end of the half to cap hat tricks in the early stages. Pollinger tallied her third marker shortly before the end of the first quarter, and O'Sullivan scored early in the second by finishing a pass from the left side by Holly Mason.
The 3-3 deadlock at halftime was broken by the Camels in the third quarter, as sophomore Meghan Gazard (Ashland, Mass.) slightly redirected a feed from freshman Abby Marchand (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) to put the hosts ahead.
WPI, however, had a strong fourth quarter and outshot Connecticut College by a 6-1 margin to eventually come away with the victory. O'Sullivan found the back of the cage for the fourth time in the 49th minute, and the Engineers earned two straight penalty corners down the stretch to record the decisive marker. After Falvey recorded a defensive save by knocking down a redirected shot by Angie Ferro, Lindsey Giorgi fired home a feed from Sullivan on the ensuing corner with 2:27 left to seal their 12th straight victory to begin the season.
Gabrielle Acquista was credited with the victory by making one save and not allowing a goal after coming in with her team down a goal. Ali Gannon made eight saves as the starter. Junior Andi McGraw (Sheffield, Mass.) and sophomore Jackie Mountford (Sherborn, Mass.) each saw time in net for Connecticut College and made a combined five stops in the setback.
Connecticut College (2-9) will next visit No. 6 Tufts on Saturday afternoon at noon.