The Engineers returned home after a three-game road trip to face the Mount Saint Mary College Knights. Coming off a two-game losing streak, Rensselaer was eager to pick up his first victory before starting league play on September 17.
The Knights started off on the right foot, putting pressure to keep the Engineers in their own half. Even though RPI struggled to retain possession, they managed to launch a few threatening counterattacks. After about 12 minutes of back and forth, RPI’s Bryanna Swinson found space to play a ball deep into the Knights’ penalty area. Sarah Sedlacek grabbed the pass from the left side and redirected it to teammate Gwen Barnes, whose well-placed shot beat the keeper for the Engineer’s first goal.
Despite an early goal, the Knights kept the pressure on, once again limiting the RPI to intermittent counterattacks. However, the genius’ attack looked dangerous just three minutes after scoring their first goal. Following a strong attack, RPI wins a corner. The Engineers’ initial shot was blocked by a knight, but Sedlacek found the loose ball and fired a long shot past the goalkeeper for a second goal.
The Knights responded late in the first half. A Mount Saint Mary midfielder dribbled through the Engineering defense before being fouled about eight yards outside the RPI’s 18-yard box. Megan Stosch identified the ensuing free kick in the top right corner, just out of reach of the diving RPI keeper.
Instead of letting the Knights gain momentum, the Engineers reacted quickly and scored again just two minutes after conceding. RPI sent a long, floating cross into the MSMC 18-yard box from a free kick. After freaking out, the ball went out to Rachel Borra, who whipped it to the post near the top of the box and into the net, extending the Engineers’ lead to 3-1 at the end of the first half.