NEVILLE TWP., Pa. — A day removed from firing 58 shots on starter Louisa Selander, the Colonials finally solved the Swedish net minder twice, defeating RPI 3-1 on Saturday at Colonials Arena at the RMU Island Sports Center.
Luck was on senior Caitlyn Sadowy’s side in the first, as the forward’s attempted dump-in on net beat Selander, giving the Colonials a 1-0 lead 14:21 into the opening frame. Both teams were stunned at the events that transpired, but luck was on Sadowy’s side, earning the Colonials their first goal of the weekend.
Robert Morris continued to stay in command of the game, peppering Selander while withholding any opportunities for the Engineers, outshooting them 27 to 4 as the second frame ended.
Blake Orosz netted the tying goal early in the second for the Engineers, beating Arielle DeSmet at 2:09 of the third. Jaycee Gebhard gave the Colonials a 2-1 lead after firing a rocket from the slot on a power-play opportunity.
Even after a tough 1-0 loss the day prior, the team had another hill to climb as in the third period junior Natalie Marcuzzi lost her skate heading to the net and crashed into the boards legs first. Athletic trainer Lindsay Gilarski was able to get the center up to one foot before teammates Gebhard and Emily Curlett helped her back to the bench.
“The response that we’re getting from players is huge,” Paul Colontino explained. “The response to adversity, thats the thing we’re really loving from this group. We’re seeing a lot of adversity early on, and we’re handling a lot of adversity early on. That to me is extremely exciting because thats something thats hard to coach, something thats hard to put in an athlete- that level of pride and that level of response.”
Gebhards goal came moments after Marcuzzi’s apparent plight, and her classmate returned to the game later, scoring the empty-net goal to seal the win.
First-year Arielle DeSmet started the game in place of Lauren Bailey and earned her first collegiate win in her first collegiate start on Saturday. It was a light workload for the goaltender from Charlotte, VT, as she only saw nine shots against her, only allowing one past.
“It was nice to get out on the ice, get out into the net after watching from the bench for a few weeks,” DeSmet said. “It was nice to play the puck and get some shots in.”
The trial-by-fire continues when the Colonials head up I-79 for a pair of contests with arch-rival and defending CHA Champion Mercyhurst. The Lakers defeated the Colonials for the conference championship last season. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. on Friday and 3:05 p.m. on Saturday.