No. 18 RPI Outlasts St. Lawrence in Overtime

Mar. 29: St. Lawrence pushed No. 18 Rensselaer to the brink on Friday in the 2013 Liberty League opener for both teams in Canton, NY. The Saints held a 6-5 lead late in the second half, but the Engineers were able to force overtime leading to Alissa Peterson's game-winner, giving the visitors a dramatic 7-6 road victory.

Peterson and Shannon Maguire each closed with two goals for Rensselaer (5-1, 1-0), while senior co-captain Brigid Hurley led all players with four goals for the Saints (4-4, 0-1). Both teams finished with 24 shots, but the Saints closed with a 19-14 edge in ground balls and a 9-8 lead in draw controls.

"I'm proud of the way we competed on both ends of the field," said St. Lawrence head coach Jodi Canfield. "We played our hearts out and just came up a bit short against a really talented opponent."

St. Lawrence sophomore goaltender Adden Cunningham kept her team in the game in the opening 10:00 minutes of regulation, as she dazzled with six early saves to give her squad confidence. The Scarlet and Brown responded by taking a 2-1 lead midway through the first half thanks to back-to-back goals from Michaela Maybee and Hurley.

Maguire would score two goals in only :36 seconds for Rensselaer, giving the visitors the lead at 3-2 with 7:14 showing on the clock. Though Hurley would tie it at 3-3, Peterson gave the Engineers the halftime cushion at 4-3, capping the first-half scoring off a great centering feed from Marissa Page.

St. Lawrence would snag the momentum early in the second half, as Hurley and fellow co-captain Stephanie O'Rourke each scored unassisted goals on Rensselaer goalie Allie Arnal for a 5-4 lead. Page leveled the score at 5-5 off a pass from Jamie Wakefield for the Engineers, but Hurley struck again with 10:54 to play, beating her defender off a slick move and firing a low shot for her 23rd goal of the season and a 6-5 lead.

Rensselaer used a timeout, and drew up a play that worked to perfection to tie the score with 6:52 remaining. Wakefield drew a double-team and fed Michelle Denny in front of Cunningham for an easy goal from just outside the crease to knot the score at 6-6. Both teams would have chances in the final portion of regulation, though the best bid came just before the buzzer when Cunningham kicked aside a last-second shot by RPI's Erin Riley to force overtime.

St. Lawrence first-year student Hannah Calvelli had a great chance on a free-position shot in the opening 3:00 minute overtime, but Arnal made a brilliant save to keep the game knotted at 6-6. Arnal then made a great pass to the midfield to help RPI clear the ball to Peterson, who raced the length of the field and fired a shot past Cunningham for a 7-6 Engineer lead with only :18 seconds left in the opening first session.

The Saints would have numerous chances in the second overtime period, including back-to-back free position opportunities for senior co-captain Joey Kelley with under :30 seconds left. Arnal came up huge again for the visitors, making the key save with :16 seconds to go, and allowing her team to run out the clock for a 7-6 conference victory.

St. Lawrence finished with a 1 for 10 mark in free position shots, while RPI was 1 for 8. Arnal closed with eight saves in the win, while Cunningham closed with 11 for St. Lawrence. Junior Parker Benedict finished with a game-high three caused turnovers for the Saints, while Hannah Kaplan anchored the Engineer defense with two caused turnovers. Both Kelley and Maguire each closed with five draw controls to lead their respective teams.

Both teams will be in action again tomorrow, Saturday, March 30 as Rensselaer heads to Potsdam, NY to square off with Clarkson University, while the Saints host Skidmore College at 3:00 pm.


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