RPI women’s lacrosse won in dramatic fashion last Thursday at Oneonta to open their 2016 season. Senior midfielder Mackenzie O’Neil scored five goals, including the game-winner, leading the Engineers to a 11-10 victory over the Red Dragons. However, in their first home game of the season on Tuesday night, RPI struggled to score against No. 4 ranked Middlebury College, losing 17-5.
The Engineers fell behind early at Oneonta, surrendering goals to Oneonta forwards Catherine Clark and Taylor Casey in the opening ten minutes. But then the Engineers responded with five consecutive goals: two from freshman midfielder Michelle Bolger, one from sophomore forward Allie Claroni, and two from O’Neil.
After Oneonta scored twice to close out the first half down one goal, O’Neil and junior forward Sophie Hager each scored twice in the first 15 minutes of the second half to give Rensselaer a commanding 9-5 lead. But Oneonta fought their way back, going on a four-goal run of their own to tie the game at nine apiece.
RPI freshman midfielder Maddy Aslansan scored to break the deadlock with 7:25 remaining in the game and O’Neil added her fifth and final goal of the afternoon 90 seconds later to give the Engineers an 11-9 edge. One goal from forward Katie Flannery of Oneonta in the closing minutes wasn’t enough to change the lead as RPI held on for an 11-10 win.
Middlebury spread the wealth on Tuesday night against the Engineers as 10 different Panthers scored in the team’s 17-5 victory. Forwards Laurel Pascal, Alli Sciarretta, and Bridget Instrum each scored in the opening four minutes to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead early in the game and they never looked back.
For the Engineers, Hager scored three times in the loss to bring her season total to five and Aslansan and Bolger also scored one each.
Next up for the Engineers is a home game against Williams College on Thursday, and then a trip to Florida next week during Spring Break to take on Endicott College and Westfield State University.