RPI Rallies Past Clarkson, Remains Unbeaten

TROY, N.Y. RPI battled back from an early deficit and held on in the second stanza for a 12-8 victory over Clarkson in Liberty League action at Renwyck Field. With the victory, the Engineers kept their perfect record intact, moving to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play. The Golden Knights slip to 3-3 on the season and are now 0-1 in Liberty League action.

This is the best start in program history for the Engineers, whose previous best opening season was in 1997 when the team went 3-0, lost their fourth game, before winning the next nine straight. Additionally, the victory for RPI marked the 20th straight against Clarkson since the two teams first met on April 25, 1993.

Clarkson got off to a fast start in the game, going up 3-0 in the first 15 minutes behind a pair of goals from junior Alyssa Cristaldi (North Syracuse, NY/Cicero-North Syracuse). The Engineers answered as sophomore Meg Colitz (East Greenwich, RI/LaSalle Academy) fired in back-to-back unassisted shots to make it a 3-2 game with 13:23.

RPI continued to battle and consecutive goals from senior Madeline Sisson (Rochester, NY/Our Lady of Mercy) saw the home team tied at 4-4 heading into the halftime break.

In the second stanza, Clarkson struck quickly as junior Nicole Kelly (Syracuse, NY/Onondaga) tallied less than a minute into the frame off a feed from Cristaldi. But it was Colitz that once again made the difference for the Engineers as she fired in back-to-back unassisted goals within two minutes of one another to make it a 6-5 advantage for RPI.

The Golden Knights refused to back down as senior Saryn Campbell (West Bolton, VT/Mount Mansfield) netted a goal of her own to make it a 6-all game with 20:26 to play. The teams continued to battle over the next four minutes, but the momentum shifted to the Engineers favor as junior Shannon Maguire (Randolph, NJ/Randolph) broke the tie at 17:44 with the first of four straight goals for Rensselaer. Sophomore Michelle Denny (Lusby, MD/Patuxent) followed less than a minute later, while Sisson tacked on her third of the game with 11:22 left on the clock.

Rookie Jamie Wakefield (Windsor, CT/Windsor), who assisted on Maguire's earlier tally, recorded the first of her two goals to close out the run with 7:02 remaining in the game and a 10-6 lead for the Engineers. Clarkson junior Katie VanDeValk (Baldwinsville, NY/C.W. Baker) closed the gap soon after on the free position, but Wakefield added another and sophomore Rachel Scofield (Albany, NY/South Colonie) wrapped it up with 38 seconds left in the game.

In addition to Colitz, who finished with four goals and an assist, the Engineers saw Sisson add three, while Wakefield had two goals and an assist. In the cage, junior netminder Allie Arnal (Lakewood, NY/Phillips Exeter Academy) stopped eight shots in improving to 8-0 on the season.

For Clarkson, VanDeValk and Cristaldi each chipped in with two goals and an assist, while Kelly had a goal and two helpers. In goal, senior Hannah Walters (Amherst, NH/Derryfield) suffered the loss, stopping eight shots to slip to 3-3 overall.

Both teams are back on the field on Saturday as Rensselaer hosts St. Lawrence at Renwcyk Field (2:00 pm). Clarkson heads to Saratoga Springs for a 2:00 pm match at Skidmore.


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