Vassar College was too much for Rensselaer during Senior Night this Saturday, as the Engineers, 9–3 this season, fell 1–2 in overtime.
The Engineers started the game strong, taking the lead in the 31st minute. A strong RPI defense kept Vassar scoreless through the first half, but a strong Vassar defense kept RPI from scoring again. The first half ended with RPI leading 1-0.
According to RPI Assistant Coach Shelby Stromerson ’15, Vassar’s ability to keep the game close ultimately led to RPI’s loss.
“We needed to widen our lead while expecting their counterattack, all while maintaining our style of play. We had many goal scoring opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on, which makes it easier for teams to equalize on us when we have such a narrow lead,” Stromerson said. “While trying to achieve this we became a bit frantic and lost our rhythm, which allowed Vassar to equalize and draw ahead.”
In the 59th minute, Vassar’s Rebecca Andrews tied the game with a penalty kick. Freshman goalie Joey Lyons said that the kick caused a sudden shift in the game: “After that, momentum fell their way.”
RPI had a chance to take the lead in the 77th minute when senior Cori Winslow took a shot, but missed the goal.
RPI and Vassar kept up their strong defense and the game went into overtime. 32 seconds into overtime, however, Vassar junior Amanda McFarland scored and clinched victory for her team.
As the season winds down and the postseason inches closer, the team will work hard on taking advantage of early leads, according to Stromerson.
“With our plans to go into the postseason, we’ll have fewer chances to score goals against better teams, so every opportunity counts,” she said.
With six games left in the season, Stromerson added that the team’s goal is to make it to the Liberty League Tournament.
“We know that William Smith will take the top seed, so it’s a fight for the remaining three spots,” she said. “The ultimate goal is to reach the NCAA tournament, so recording wins for the rest of the season and performing well in the league tournament will surely get us there.”
The Engineers have two games this weekend. They will travel to face Clarkson University on Friday at 4 pm and St. Lawrence University on Saturday at 2 pm. They will then face Union College at home on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.