TROY, NY – The Williams College women's lacrosse team took an 8-4 lead into the half by scoring four unanswered goals in the final 9:10 of the opening session and went on to down host RPI 13-6 in a non-conference tilt.
Tonight was the first time in their last three games that the Ephs did not trail at the end of the first half of play. "We just tired to concentrate on working the game in segments, focus, take care of the ball, and I thought we did a better job of that tonight," said Eph head coach Chris Mason.
With the win the Ephs extended their win streak to 10 and improved their overall record to 12-1, while snapping RPI's 7-game win streak. RPI fell to 8-4 with the loss.
This was also the 10th straight game that the Ephs have held their opponent to less than double-digit goals over the 60 minutes.
The 12 wins by the Ephs is the first time they have won 12 games in a season since they finished 12-7 in 2010.
Tied at 4-4 Rebecca McGovern gave the Ephs a 5-4 lead with 9:10 left in the opening session and then Hillary Cook netted a free position goal (4:57) and that score was followed by two goals from Nancy Palmer at 2:55 and with 51 seconds left. Anne Rehfuss was credited with an assist on Palmer's second goal.
RPI had led briefly at 15:39, 3-2, when Marissa Page scored her second goal of the game off a feed from Lauren Miller. Just over a minute later the Ephs' Bridget Malicki tied the game at three with an unassisted tally.
Rebecca McGovern, the reigning NESCAC Player of the Week, put the Ephs up 4-3, only to have RPI respond with a tying goal at 10:46 by Rachel Scofield.
McGovern led the Ephs in scoring in the first half with three goals and Nancy Palmer added two. Marissa Page led RPI with two goals.
Williams out shot the Engineers in the first 30 minutes 16-8. Eph senior goalie Ali Piltch recorded four first half saves, while RPI's Erin Amarello made three. The Engineers led in ground balls 7-5.
RPI netted an early second half goal to narrow the Eph lead to three at 8-5 when Jamie Wakefield converted off a pass from Rachel Scofield at 28:58. McGovern answered that score with one of her own at 21:21, but RPI again cut the Eph lead to three with an Erin Riley score at 20:32.
With momentum appearing to shift in the Engineers' favor Eph goalie Ali Piltch stopped a free position attempt by RPI's Wakefield at 13:33. Shortly after that save when the Ephs had cleared the ball the Ephs called a timeout, leading 9-6.
"I just wanted them to know that we were okay to move the ball backwards and go wide, but I wanted them to keep their heads up and look for the good pass," said Mason. "I also wanted them to know that RPI was not going to quit and when they got the ball they were going to come flying at us."
Just 27 seconds after the timeout the Ephs' Alyssa Amos boosted the Eph lead back to four, 10-6, with a goal at 11:52. Hillary Cook, Bridget Malicki and Micaela Dussel then closed out the scoring in the game with a goal each in the final 10:20.
"It was another good team win, but I thought our defense was particularly tough holding a team like RPI to six goals," Mason noted.
Both the Ephs' Ali Piltch and RPI's Erin Amarello made seven saves in goal in the game. Williams held a decisive advantage in shots, firing off 29 to RPI's 13. Williams collected 10 ground balls in the contest and RPI eight.
Rebecca McGvern netted a game high four goals for Williams, while RPI was led by Erin Riley and Marissa Page who each scored twice.
Both RPI and Williams return to action on Saturday. The Engineers will travel to Skidmore for a Liberty League contest, while the Ephs will host archrival Amherst, ranked third nationally, in a key NESCAC contest on Cole Field at 1:00 PM.