SOUTH HADLEY, Mass.— First year forward Sara Sanaú Ruiz netted her first collegiate hat trick to lead the Mount Holyoke College soccer team to a 3-1 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in non-conference action on Tuesday. With the win, the Lyons improve to 4-2-1 overall, while the Engineers are now 3-3-2.
Sanaú Ruiz (Zaragoza, Spain/P.P. Dominicos – Cardenal Xavierre) got the Lyons out to an early 1-0 lead, scoring in the third minute. A pass by senior forward Ashleigh Hartsock (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island) got the play going as first year midfielder Dale Leonheart (Petaluma, Calif./St. Vincent de Paul) collected the pass and attempted a shot in the box toward the right side. Her shot went just wide, but Sanaú Ruiz was there at the corner to bank it in.
RPI had a number of outstanding chances in the first half, owning an 11-4 clip over the home team, but could not capitalize. Among the best chances was in the 38th minute as sophomore defender Stephanie May (Windham, N.H./Central Catholic) sent a hard shot in, but MHC keeper Zoe Marshall (Mississauga, Ont./Cawthra Park Secondary School) was able to cover it to maintain the lead.
In the second half, Sanaú Ruiz made it a two-goal game, scoring in the 52nd minute. Controlling the ball in the midfield, Leonheart chipped the ball up to Sanaú Ruiz, who dribbled over the line and down the middle. Cutting to the right, she lobbed a hard shot over the head of RPI keeper Tori Riopelle (Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods) and into the left corner.
The Engineers finally broke through on the scoreboard exactly 10 minutes later. From the right side of the box, May sent a hard shot in on goal. Marshall was able to make the stop, but rebounded the ball directly to sophomore forward Dali Alarian (Folsom, Calif./Vista del Lago), who chipped it in at close range.
Rensselaer, which held a decisive 14-2 edge in shots for the second half, continued to have a number of outstanding efforts but it was Sanaú Ruiz who completed the game's scoring in the 87th minute. Hartsock sent a lobbing pass over the head of a defender to Sanaú Ruiz, who quickly found the ball and rocketed a long shot over the head of Riopelle and into the back of the net.
The visitors had a final chance after being awarded a corner kick with just three minutes to go, but Marshall was up to the task as junior forward Cori Winslow's (Ballston Spa, N.Y./Ballston Spa) was easily scooped up.
In goal, Marshall made six saves in the victory, whiler Riopelle stopped two. The Engineers also held a 12-2 edge in corner kicks for the game.
The Lyons are back in action on Saturday with a NEWMAC game at Emerson (12pm). RPI returns to the pitch on Thursday, hosting Castleton (7:30pm).