Both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams are off to a strong start this season. The women’s team moved to 5-0 on the year after defeating Castleton State College and SUNY Potsdam at Renwyck Field this weekend, while the men’s team, ranked 16th in the nation, played to a convincing 9-4 victory over Vassar College at the East Campus Stadium on Saturday.
Two Engineers were tabbed with Liberty League honors after RPI’s successful weekend of play. Junior goaltender Allie Arnal of the women’s lacrosse team was named the women’s Defensive Performer of the Week, while freshman Aaron Shavel was recognized as the men’s Rookie of the Week.
Friday’s non-conference matchup with the Castleton State Spartans saw sophomore Marissa Page score a game-high five goals in RPI’s 16-6 win. In addition, seven other Engineers hit the back of the net in Rensselaer’s home opener.
RPI started the game early with two goals in the first four minutes of play, coming from sophomores Meg Colitz and Julia Wright. Although the Spartans knotted the game at two, Page added her first of the afternoon to regain the lead.
With nearly 20 minutes left to play in the first half, Page, Colitz, and senior Madeline Sisson all scored to increase the Engineers’ lead to 6-2. Castleton sophomores Sarah Clark and Amanda Flodstrom tried to cut that deficit, but Sisson found the back of the net for her second goal of the game to lead RPI to halftime with a 7-4 advantage.
Castleton State came out firing following the intermission and was able to cut RPI’s lead down to 7-5. However, the Engineers responded with eight-straight goals to take command of the match. Page added three more tallies in that span, while junior Shannon Maguire, sophomores Rachel Scofield and Michelle Denny, freshman Jamie Wakefield, and Colitz all contributed to the rush.
With just over two minutes remaining in the match, Castleton sophomore Jennilee Mark made it a 15-6 game, but Denny capped off the match with her second of the afternoon to give the Engineers a commanding 16-6 victory.
In net for Rensselaer, Arnal had 10 stops in her fourth win of the season, while Castleton junior Lily Derbyshire and freshman Kelsey MacDonald combined for six saves for the Spartans.
The Engineers carried that momentum to the next afternoon as the team faced off against the SUNY Potsdam Bears in a 12-4 win. Again, Rensselaer started strong as the home shutout Potsdam and added five goals in the first half alone.
Senior Laura Connor started the rush with her first goal of the season off the free position at 20:44. It didn’t take long for the Engineers to ramp up the lead as Sisson made it a 2-0 match at 10:37 off a feed from Maguire. Goals from Scofield, Connor, and Maguire all within a 1:10 span gave RPI a 5-0 advantage heading into the second half.
The visiting Bears had a strong scoring attempt following the break, but Arnal was able to clear the shot. Shortly after, Maguire scored her second of the day to make it a 6-0 game.
Page, Maguire, Colitz, Sisson, and Wakefield all hit the back of the net, increasing the team’s advantage to 11-0 before the Bears broke the shutout. Freshman Margaret Wall hit the back of the net at 15:42, and senior Sierra LangKammerer got her shot past Arnal at 12:05 to bring the deficit down to single digits. Freshman Lauren Miller added the last RPI goal at 4:58, and was followed by two more from Potsdam. Despite the late rush, it wasn’t enough to overcome the commanding lead the Engineers had built throughout the match.
Arnal stopped six shots through 47:55 minutes of play, while senior Muryum Khalid made two stops in 9:13 minutes of relief for Rensselaer. Freshman Erin Amarello closed out the final three minutes of play, making no stops.
Rensselaer opens its Liberty League schedule this weekend as it travels west to take on the University of Rochester on Friday at 4 pm, and the Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday at 2 pm.
The nationally-ranked men’s team took on Vassar College in its Liberty League opener on Saturday for its only match of the week. No. 15 Rensselaer defeated the Brewers in a 9-4 decision to improve to 7-0 overall on the season. Shavel led the charge with three goals in the win.
Vassar got on the scoreboard first as freshman Max Herman netted his first of two tallies on the day at 7:09 of the first quarter. However, the Engineers responded with five-straight goals from seniors Grant Foulsham, Andrew Miller, junior Wes Rudy, freshman Colin Fortuner, and Shavel to earn a 5-1 advantage at the first half.
Although the Brewers got two back-to-back goals from senior Jeff Lee to open the third quarter, Miller collected his team-leading 14th goal of the season just 15 seconds later to make it a 6-3 match.
The visitors would managed to only light up the scoreboard once more on the afternoon as Shavel and Rudy combined with three goals to close out the game, and give the Engineers the 9-4 victory.
In net for RPI, junior James Manchester made five saves for the win, while Vassar sophomore Andrew Nicol made a whopping 17 stops in the loss.
After a short week, Rensselaer hits the road for two games. Tomorrow’s non-conference matchup with Oneonta State is set for 4 pm, while Saturday’s trip to Potsdam, N.Y., to take on Clarkson University will begin at 1 pm.