Union rallies to beat arch-rival RPI in women’s lacrosse

Two lacrosse players, one with the ball

Union's Sydney McPartlon handles the ball next to RPI's Sophie Goddard at Frank Bailey Field on Wednesday.

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SCHENECTADY — With RPI getting out to early leads of 2-0 and 3-1, it wasn’t feeling much like an RPI/Union matchup.

But add a few yellow cards and a Union rally, and oh yeah, then it did.

The Dutchwomen rallied from three goals down early in the second quarter, took the lead for good in the third and went on to an important 12-9 Liberty League women’s lacrosse win Wednesday night at Frank Bailey Field.

“We’ve practiced all week on cooperation on the field,” said Union first-year head coach Alyssa Treanor. “We’ve been talking a lot about physical touch, talking a lot about energy, all the things we want to work on to create culture, and our girls just had the ultimate faith. We just knew we were going to have a good game today.”

Between Treanor’s first win over arch-rival RPI and sister Kayla’s Syracuse University women’s team being ranked No. 1 in Division I, it’s good times in the Treanor clan.

The win improved the Dutchwomen to 1-1 in the Liberty League and 5-2 overall. RPI fell to 0-2 and 5-2.

Megan Shay, who finished with four goals and an assist, scored RPI’s first two goals, but Union countered with Dana Truini’s first of three for the game.

As the yellow cards started to come out, both teams scored extra-player goals, with RPI getting two to Union’s one, as the first quarter ended with a 5-3 Engineers lead.

RPI went ahead 6-3, but Union chipped away in the second quarter, fueled defensively by freshman goalie Sydney Widlitz’s five saves. Offensively, Truini, Katie Julien and Drew Charlton tallied to tie the score at 6 entering halftime.

“They got off hot, and we knew that coming in that they’re a fast team off the first whistle,” said Union senior and Niskayuna product Sydney McPartlon, who scored four goals. “We knew we had to play a long game and kind of play our own game and wait until our time was right to start putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Julien found Dana Nelson for an extra-player goal with 4:58 left in the third to give Union a 7-6 lead. Truini’s third of the night made it 8-6 with 3:06 left, and shortly thereafter Widlitz, who finished with 16 saves, stymied an open RPI attacker from close range to keep the score that way.

“She’s a freshman,” Alyssa Treanor exclaimed, “and she was unbelievable tonight. We talked about having each other’s backs on all parts of the field, and the girls did that between hustle plays, ground balls, Syd came up with some huge saves. So we just played a really good all-around game and everybody had each other’s backs.”

While it’s her first RPI game, Widlitz likened it to her high school rival.

“I kind of just brought [the high school rivalry] energy here, and it helped a lot,” Widlitz said. “I felt pretty confident, but mostly because as a freshman, it’s been so great to have a defense I’ve been able to instantly click with, and to be able to adjust to them, and them to me. They’re super flexible and I love them, and they’re super supportive.”

McPartlon made a nice isolation play, dodging a couple of defenders before scoring her third goal of the night to give the Dutchwomen some important breathing room with a 9-6 lead early in the fourth quarter. 

The teams traded goals the rest of the quarter, but that was enough for Union to remove the bad taste of a lopsided league loss to Skidmore last Saturday.

“This is the game our girls look forward to the most, probably out of the whole season, and RPI always comes ready to play,” Alyssa Treanor said.

“Every time they play us it’s an intense game, so you have to expect intensity and physicality and good players,” said McPartlon, who said that trusting every aspect of its game was crucial. “Just focus on making the best of each opportunity we got. Then focusing on when the defense does make a good play, make sure that we reciprocate with a goal.”

Union hosts Ithaca at noon Saturday.

RPI 5 1 0 3 — 9

Union 3 3 2 4 — 12

RPI scoring: Shay 4-1, DeLeo 2-1, Maready 1-3, Graff 1-0, Boehmer 1-0. Union scoring: McPartlon 4-0, Truini 3-0, Charlton 2-0, Smith 1-2, Julien 1-2, Nelson 1-0. Goalies: RPI, Lucas, 11 saves. Union, Widlitz, 16 saves.

Categories: College Sports, Sports, Sports, Union College

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