Kaufman leads as key player in road games

Last Wednesday, RPI field hockey overcame a one-goal deficit in the second half at New Paltz and won 2-1. Then, in a second road game last Saturday at Vassar, freshman goalie Rachel Kaufman made seven saves but still the Engineers fell 1-0.

RPI attempted six shots on the New Paltz net before the home team was able to create a scoring opportunity for themselves. However, Hawks goalie Alayna Wageman made five saves and the sixth deflected off the post, keeping the game scoreless. Then, in the 30th minute Hawks forward Kayla Mckeveny found midfielder Dani Ackerman open at the top of the circle for the first goal of the game.

The momentum of the game switched back to RPI late in the second half when senior midfielder Celia D’Agostino bounced a shot past Wageman to tie the game at one in the 61st minute. The goal was assisted by senior forward Hana Murphy, her second helper of the season. Then, four minutes later sophomore defender Mekayla Wakeman scored her second goal of the season off a corner pass from freshman midfielder Casey Collette.

The game ended with Rensselaer on top, 2-1. Kaufman made five saves in victory while Wageman turned a stout performance of 13 saves on 15 shots.

In Saturday’s game against Vassar, the Brewers dominated the first half, outshooting the Engineers by a count of 15 to three. Kaufman made seven saves to go along one defensive save by sophomore midfielder Kate Batzinger and two by sophomore defender Mac Reininger. Four others were off target. But one shot, by forward Lauren Wiebe, found its mark in the 33rd minute of the game after she collected the ball from a scrum in front of the Rensselaer net. The goal proved decisive as Brewers goalie Paige Amico saved all four RPI shots on goal in the contest.

RPI moves to a record of 9-6 following the two games and will finish its regular season this week with a game at Castleton State on Wednesday and a game versus Oneonta on Saturday at Harkness Field.