Women's soccer prepares for end of season

In the bit of traveling this week, the women’s soccer team encountered some bumpy roads that have been a setback. However, they look to the remainder of the season for a place to improve. The Engineers have dropped to sixth in the Liberty League with two more conference matches left in the season.

Last Friday, the team traveled across the river to Schenectady where it faced off against Union College. The Dutchwomen were able to gain the first lead six minutes in and held a firm grasp on that advantage for the remainder of the first period. In the second half, the Engineers picked up their game and played with a very aggressive offensive strategy. Their perseverance paid off, and in the 53rd minute, RPI found its chance. At a crowded goal box, senior Jacquelyn Garlasco prevented the ball from leaving the area, allowing a score by freshman Shannon Maguire, bringing the two teams to a tie. Twenty minutes later, however, the Dutchwomen broke the tie and brought the score to 2-1 in favor of Union College. Neither team was able to change the scoreboard, leaving RPI behind once the game came to a close. Freshman goalkeeper Melissa Pinsonneault was able to stop four shots during the course of the game.

The following day, the Engineers headed to Skidmore College where they faced the Thoroughbreds. Skidmore claimed the first goal of the game 20 minutes in, but the remainder of that first half was scattered with shots from both sides. Neither team was able to successfully navigate the ball around the opposing goalies, leaving the score at 1-0 at the break. Skidmore pushed its advantage to 2-0 when a pass was deflected off an RPI defender, leaving the Skidmore midfielder with a clear shot at the net. The Engineers still fought for a point when their opportunity arose in the 63rd minute. Freshman Nikki Goodsell guided a corner kick toward Garlasco, whose header was aimed right toward the goal. The Skidmore goalie had appeared to make the save, but the ball crossed the goal line as she landed, dropping Skidmore’s lead down to one. Neither team made any more advances during the remaining 20 minutes of the game, leaving both teams with seven shots each and a final score of 2-1 in favor of Skidmore.

Last week, Maguire was recognized by the Liberty League as the “Rookie of the Week” in women’s soccer for her outstanding performance during the Engineers’ win against Vassar College. She was also awarded this honor the first week of the season in September. Currently, Maguire leads the Engineers in total points, with nine goals and one assist thus far in the season. She has also claimed 20 shots on goal.

The Engineers now stand 4-8-1 overall with five matches left in this season’s schedule. They sport a 1-4 conference record placing them at number six in the rankings. Next Tuesday, the Engineers will travel to Massachusetts in a non-conference game against the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. RPI will be hosting its two remaining Liberty League games this season in the weeks following as they close up their 2009 season.