COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Six different players found the back of the net, but it proved to be not enough, as the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team fell, 17-7 to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in non-conference action. The two teams, who have never previously met before, were playing at Colorado College on Wednesday morning. The Engineers improve to 2-1-1 on the season, while the Lyons slip to 1-4 overall.
It was an offensive heavy first half of action as the teams combined for 16 goals. Mount Holyoke got things going after senior captain Leila Kouakou (Leeds, Mass./Northampton) sent in a great pass to the middle for junior attack Morgan McNamara (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) less than a minute into the frame. The lead proved short-lived as RPI fired off four straight goals over a nine-minute span to grab a 4-1 advantage with 20:35 remaining. Sophomore attacker Kelly Hammond (Hartland, Vt./Kimball Union Academy) helped close the gap for MHC less than 20 seconds following the Engineers' fourth-goal, converting a pass from Kouakou, which was quickly added to minutes later as Kouakou capitalized with an unassisted score of her own to make it a 4-3 contest.
RPI continued to press, converting three more goals in a row, including the second of the contest by junior midfielder Abbey Salvon (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), but Hammond once again helped to close the distance with her team-leading second tally of the game for a 7-4 deficit with 10:15 to play in the opening stanza. Despite the momentum, the Lyons were unable to hold off a high-powered RPI offense through the final six minutes as the Engineers poured in five unanswered goals, including back-to-back efforts off the stick of junior middie Michelle Bolger (Williston, Vt./Rice Memorial) for a 12-4 advantage at intermission.
The Engineers tacked on an early goal less than a minute into the second stanza, but Mount Holyoke responded with three straight to close the gap to 13-6. Sophomore midfielder Julianna Rankin (Anapolis, Md./Anapolis) and junior attack Deyscha Smith (Boston, Mass./Academy of the Pacific Rim) each capitalized on free position attempts, while junior attack and captain Mazzie Meotti (South Glastonbury, Conn./Watkinson School) corralled a pass from Kouakou at 26:18. RPI answered over the final 22 minutes of the contest with four straight tallies, including the game-leading fourth from Bolger to close out the game's scoring.
For RPI, Bolger notched four goals with an assist, adding a pair of ground balls and three draw control wins. Junior midfielder Maddy Aslansan (Philadelphia, Pa./Springside Chesnut Hill Academy) added two goals and a game-best three assists with a ground ball and four draw controls, while senior defender Laurel Dean (Southington, Conn./Southington) pulled in five ground balls and a game-best three caused turnovers. Sophomore midfielder Becca De Rosa (Fair Lawn, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy) added three goals for the Engineers, while junior attack Ellie Henn (Woodbridge, Conn./Amity Regional) had two scores. In goal, junior Aleena Milinski (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) posted two saves over 30:58 minutes of play. She was relieved by classmate Rebecca Wilen (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape), who stopped four shots over 29:02 minutes.
Mount Holyoke was paced by Kouakou, who recorded a goal and a game-best three assists with two draw controls. Senior midfielder Kaitlin Braz (Tolland, Conn./East Catholic) added four ground balls, three draw controls and a game-high three caused turnovers, while Rankin posted a goal and a game-high five draw controls. Hammond posted a team-best two goals. Sophomore goalie Mia Wysocki (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) shouldered the loss, recording 10 saves for the Lyons.
MHC returns to action on Friday at 10am (Mountain Time/12pm Eastern) when it faces Colorado College. RPI is back on the field on Saturday when it hosts Clarkson in Liberty League play at 11am.