Field Hockey Blanks Rensselaer in Season Opener

Junior midfielder Mirjam Keochakian plays the ball forward against Castleton.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - A goal in each half, along with the first collegiate win for sophomore goalie Morgan Turner, helped the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 2-0 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Sunday afternoon. The win was the first of the season for the Lyons (1-0), while the Engineers shoulder their second loss of the young season (0-2).

The homestanding Lyons jumped out to a quick start in the contest as MHC capitalized on an RPI infraction in the circle. Mount Holyoke was awarded a penalty stroke which saw junior midfielder Mirjam Keochakian (Hamburg, Germany/Deerfield Academy) bullet the shot past Rensselaer's Rachel Kaufman (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) at 2:23.

Following the tally, the team's played a lot of back-and-forth before the Lyons saw two quality chances following consecutive penalty corners in the middle of the frame. Keochakian rocketed a shot in on net, while senior captain and forward Sophie Perekslis (Millerton, N.Y./Berkshire School) added another less than a minute later which Kaufman kicked away.

Rensselaer had a solid chance late in the stanza as junior midfielder Jena Dolinar (Owings, Md./Northern) drove toward goal, but Turner (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) posted a solid kick save to preserve the lead.

In the second half of action, the Lyons poured on the momentum, forcing the Engineers defense to work as a shot from Keochakian was quickly stopped by Kaufman, but the ensuing shot from Perekslis was saved on the line by a diving Lauren Hiltz (Woodbine, Md./Mount de Sales Academy).

The Lyons grabbed a 2-0 advantage at the 61:34 mark after senior captain and midfielder Kathryn Rawson (Old Town, Maine/Old Town) corralled a pass from sophomore middie Anna Ballou (South Deerfield, Mass./Deerfield Academy), firing it through traffic.

Mount Holyoke held the Engineers at bay over the final eight minutes of the contest to earn the season-opening victory. For the contest, the Lyons owned a 16-7 advantage in shots, while also posting a 9-6 edge in penalty corners.

RPI saw Kaufman make eight saves in the contest, while Turner finished with three.

Mount Holyoke is back in action on Thursday when it hosts #13 Amherst at 7:15pm on the turf field. Rensselaer returns to the field on Wednesday when it travels to #15 Hamilton for a 7pm contest.