WORCESTER, Mass. - Sophomore forward Julie Saltamartini (East Hampstead, N.H.) scored late in the second half to give the Simmons College field hockey team a 1-0 victory over host Worcester Polytechnic Institute at Alumni Stadium this afternoon in Worcester, Mass. The Sharks improve to a perfect 3-0 for their best start in over 13 years, while the Engineers fall to 0-2.
For the second straight match, the Simmons defense allowed five or fewer shots and Saltamartini provided the game-winning tally. The Sharks allowed just four shots, none of which were on goal or in the second half of play. WPI held an 8-2 margin on penalty corners, but were unable to take advantage.
With 7:48 showing on the scoreboard, Saltamartini split the defense and sent the ball in from the top of the arc for the 1-0 Simmons' advantage and her team-leading third marker of the season.
The Engineers outshot their guests 4-1 in the opening 35 minutes and were awarded all three penalty corners while WPI senior goalkeeper Lauren Puishys (Oxford, MA) made the only stop in the first half. After the break, the Sharks claimed a 5-0 shot advantage despite a WPI 5-2 margin in penalty corners.
Three of the four Simmons shots early in the second half were turned away by Puishys, including a shot each from junior midfielder Amy Wilson (Falmouth, Mass.) and junior forward Gabi Henderson (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) as part of a flurry in the 50th minute. The Engineers then strung together a pair of spurts that saw three consecutive penalty corners in a span of 42 seconds around the 60th minute and back-to-back corners in the 66th minute, but were unable to muster a shot on any of them.
Junior keeper Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) did not face a shot and posted her seventh career shutout for the Sharks, while Puishys finished with four saves for WPI.
Caroline Mazzola (Harvard, MA), Shannon Rice (Bath, ME), Ally Mills (West Bridgewater, MA) and Hope Shevchuk (Burlington, CT) all launched a shot each for the the Engineers.
Simmons continues its seven-game road trip on Wednesday, September 9 at Wheelock College on 7:00 p.m., while WPI wraps up a two-game homestand on September 8 when it welcomes Fitchburg State for a 7:00 p.m. matchup.