Engineers dubbed victorious against Knights
The Engineers returned home after a three-game road trip to take on the Mount Saint Mary College Knights. Coming off a two-game losing streak, Rensselaer was eager to secure their first win before beginning league play on September 17.
The Knights started off on the right foot, applying pressure to keep the Engineers in their own half. Even though RPI struggled to maintain possession, they were able to spring a few threatening counterattacks. After about 12 minutes of back and forth, RPI’s Bryanna Swinson found some space to play a through ball into the Knights’ 18-yard box. Sarah Sedlacek seized the pass on the left side and redirected it to teammate Gwen Barnes, whose well-placed shot beat the keeper for the Engineer’s first goal.
Despite letting an early goal in, the Knights kept the pressure up, once again limiting RPI to intermittent counterattacks. However, the Engineer offense looked dangerous only three minutes after scoring their first goal. Following a strong attack, RPI won a corner. The Engineers’ initial shot was blocked by a Knight, but Sedlacek tracked down the loose ball and fired a far–post shot past the goalie for a second goal.
The Knights responded late in the first half. A Mount Saint Mary midfielder dribbled through the Engineer defense before getting fouled about eight yards outside the RPI 18-yard box. Megan Stosch pinpointed the ensuing free kick into the top right corner, just out of reach for the diving RPI keeper.
Instead of allowing the Knights to steal their momentum, the Engineers reacted quickly and scored again only two minutes after conceding. RPI sent a long floating cross into the MSMC 18-yard box off of a free kick. After pinballing around, the ball popped out to Rachel Borra, who whipped it to the near post from the top of the box and into the net, extending the Engineers’ lead to 3–1 at the end of the first half.
RPI came flying out of the gates to start the second half, flipping the script and containing the Knights within their own half. Several strong attacks from set pieces and the run-of-play indicated that the Engineers were hunting more goals. Surprisingly, it was MSMC that struck first. On one of their few spells of possession in RPI’s half, a midfielder flicked a bouncing ball through to Kaitlin Hansen. Hansen blasted a volley shot from inside the box past the Engineer goalie, reducing the deficit to one.
Once again, RPI kept their composure after allowing a goal. The Engineers spread the ball around more, feeling for weaknesses in their opponent’s defense while maintaining control of the game. RPI found their way past the MSMC defense yet again with 10 minutes remaining. Barnes received a pass on the right side and dribbled at the Knights, drawing multiple defenders in before unloading a pass to Borra. Borra shouldered past her defender and slotted the ball past the keeper from just outside the six-yard box.
At this point, it was clear that the Engineers were en route to a comfortable victory, but the headaches only continued for MSMC. With just over five minutes left in the game, Barnes dribbled to the corner, cut back, and sent a cross in for RPI. A Knight attempted to clear the ball, but unfortunately, ended up slicing the ball right over her goalie’s head for an own goal.
In spite of multiple comeback attempts by MSMC, the Engineers stood their ground and earned a decisive 5–2 victory, bringing their record to 1–3–1. The win is RPI’s first of the season. Click here for the box score and here for the RPI TV broadcast.