SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Sophomore Megan Jones tallied with just 58 seconds remaining to lift the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) field hockey team to a 2-1 win over Mount Holyoke College in non-conference action on Saturday. With the win, the Engineers improve to 2-0 on the season, while the 14th-ranked Lyons slip to 1-1 overall.
Locked in a 1-1 tie, both teams found themselves with opportunities for the go-ahead late in the game. After being unable to convert on two penalty corner chances, Mount Holyoke found itself in trouble late as the Engineers were given a corner in the 69th minute. Injecting was Jones (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island), who fired the ball to the top of the arc to senior forward Hana Murphy (Westport, Mass./Tilton School).
After settling the ball, Murphy sent a shot back into traffic, which was tipped by sophomore forward Jena Nawfel (Waterville, Maine/Waterville) and back on to the stick of Jones for the goal at the right side.
Despite the clock winding down, the Lyons were given one last opportunity, being awarded a penalty corner with mere seconds to go. Senior midfielder Sarah LaQuerre (Old Orchard Beach, Maine/Cheverus) blasted a shot in off the injection, but the ball was redirected in traffic, going just past the box.
RPI opened the game scoring in the 7th minute as Jones injected the ball on the corner to the top of the arc. Nawfel sent a hard shot in that sailed through a pile-up in front and into the right corner of the goal.
In the second half, the Lyons were able to tie it up as first year Kristina Ramsden (Florence, Mass./Northampton) notched her second of the season. On the penalty corner, junior forward Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) inject toward the top to LaQuerre. Her shot from the top ripped through the middle and was initially saved by RPI goalie Rachel Kaufman (Morristown, N.J./Morristown), but Ramsden was there to tip it into the right corner.
Mount Holyoke held the edge in both shots (22-14) and penalty corners (10-9). In goal, Kaufman was outstanding, stopping 12 shots (six in each half), while first year Taylor Clink (Binghamton, N.Y./Whitney Point) made a defensive save.
MHC is back in action on Tuesday, when it hosts area-rival Amherst at 7:15pm on the turf field. Rensselaer returns to the field tomorrow, hosting Geneseo State at 12pm on Harkness Field.
Photo of Ramsden's goal courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.