Wisnom: Savior against the Saints
Whitney Wisnom ’22 scored on the final play of the game to rescue a draw against Liberty League opponents St. Lawrence on Saturday.
For the first three minutes, neither squad seemed to dominate. In the fourth minute, Saints midfielder Isabel Silvia settled a punt at the half-way line. She turned towards goal and played a through ball over the top to forward Tyler Potter. Potter reached the ball just outside of the 18-yard box and took a shot. Although the strike wasn’t clean, the bouncing shot snuck off the far post and in to give the Saints the lead early on.
Rensselaer had the resolve to stay in the match. In the seventh minute, Rensselaer defender Emma Skantze ’22 rocketed a free-kick goalwards, forcing goalkeeper Keely Snode to punch the shot over the crossbar. As the game progressed, the Engineers became very hot and cold on offense—great passing combinations were immediately followed by sloppy turnovers. The Engineers struggled to get into a rhythm. Despite the lack of offensive cohesion, they worked tirelessly to stay in the game. After 24 minutes of play, the Engineers became more threatening with several attacking chances, one that revealed Snode’s vulnerability to crosses above her head.
The Saints’ lack of offensive opportunities was mostly in part due to the solid midfield duo of Olivia Spector ’22 and Ali Bisaccia ’22. In the 44th minute, RPI’s Lea Michel ’25 dribbled past a couple St. Lawrence defenders, cut inside, and ripped a shot that went just wide of the right post. The half ended 1‒0 after the early Saints’ goal.
In the 48th minute, another through ball to goal-scorer Potter gave the Saints’ another opportunity, but her shot was saved by goalkeeper Sierra Skelding ’25. The Engineers had several scoring chances to begin the half, including a 28-yard blast from Wisnom that was comfortably caught by Snode.
In the 60th minute, Bryanna Swinson ’24 redirected an Engineer throw-in with her head which gave Wisnom the ball on the endline. Wisnom’s cross was blocked by a defender, but the deflection went towards goal. Snode got a hand on it and the subsequent clear attempt struck the hand of a Saint defender. After deliberating with his assistant on the sideline, the referee decided the ball had gone out before it struck the defender’s hand, giving the Engineers a corner rather than a penalty kick. The corner kick was played short and subsequently backwards to Skantze. Her shot was a bit too high, passing over the crossbar but frightening Snode. Another opportunity for the Engineers came in the 64th minute. Barnes laid the ball off to an open Swinson in the box. Her shot, like many others for RPI, sailed over the bar.
The first real chance for the Saints came in the 68th minute after a defensive miscue. Forward Duun Cocozza O’Hara was running at Meghan Huang ’22 with pace. O’Hara attempted to take the ball around Huang, but a fantastic tackle stopped her dead in her tracks. Wisnom had opportunities to equalize in the 75th and 76th minutes, but failed to keep her shots on target.
The clock was ticking down and the Engineers needed a breakthrough. In the 84th minute, Barnes picked up the ball on the left wing with Wisnom lurking in the box. Barnes sent a cross into a gap between the defenders and the keeper. Wisnom lost her defender and wandered into space, allowing herself to get a free header, directed into the top right corner of the box, hitting the under-side of the bar and down. The ball popped back into play and there was a scramble in front of the net. During the confusion, the referee established that the ball did in fact cross the goalline and therefore the game was tied 1‒1.
After the goal, the referees delayed the game due to inclement weather, and after a significant wait the teams decided to end the game there. Both teams now begin league play at 0‒0‒1. The Engineers’ record for the season is 2‒1‒3.