TROY, N.Y. - The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) field hockey team scored twice in a 1:18 span to gain the lead and the Engineers held off No. 20 Mount Holyoke College, defeating the Lyons 3-2 in a non-league game at Ned Harkness Field. RPI improves to 1-1, while Mount Holyoke falls to 0-1.
Trailing 2-1 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the second half, Rensselaer tied the game when junior Jane Edgington (Amherst, NY / Amherst Central) collected a loose ball to the right of the cage and swept the ball across the turf and into the back of the cage. The Engineers needed just over a minute later to take the lead - their first of the game - as sophomore Mikaela DiBello (Mahopac, NY / Mahopac) drove down the right side before getting the ball to freshman Nessa Costa (San Diego, CA / Del Notre), who finished the play with her first collegiate goal.
The Lyons had several chances to tie the game from that point on but were stopped with the highlight being a diving save by sophomore goalie Rachel Kaufman (Morristown, NJ / Morristown), who denied a Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, PA / Westtown School) shot off a penalty corner with just under four minutes to play. Kaufman also came up big six minutes earlier when she dove to knock a loose ball out of the circle in a one-on-one situation.
Kaufman, making her first start of the season, stopped six shots, while Liz DiCesare (Westford, MA / Bishop Guertin) made seven saves on the other end. Senior Ruvimbo Mushavi (Harare, Zimbabwe / Arundel School) had the lone defensive save of the game, one of many strong plays she had in the game.
Mount Holyoke took an early lead when sophomore Colby Newsham (Harvard, MA / Bromfield School) knocked in a loose ball at 7:25 after the Lyons applied consistent pressure. RPI tied the game early in the second half (39:37) when DiBello picked up her first assist of the contest, and the season, in a very similar fashion. She drove down the right before threading a pass to Megan Jones (Stevensville, MD / Kent Island), who scored into the vacated cage. Lyons' sophomore Kristina Ramsden (Florence, MA / Northampton) had the second tally at 44:17 to put the visitors ahead.
The Engineers held an 18-16 advantage in shots, including 13-6 in the second half, and a 7-6 edge in penalty corners.
RPI returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Hamilton College in a non-league game (7pm). Mount Holyoke plays at Amherst College on Thursday at 7pm.
Release courtesy of Kevin Beattie, RPI Associate Athletic Director for Communications & Compliance. Photo courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.