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Late Goals Earn RSC Home E8 Playoff Game

Powell

HOUGHTON, N.Y. – Trailing 2-1 with less than 2:10 remaining in its regular season finale, Russell Sage College scored twice in a 30 second span to turn the deficit into a 3-2 win this afternoon at Houghton.

The road victory, combined with other results around the Conference, earned the Gators (7-9-1/6-3-0 E8) a home game in the first round of the Empire 8 Conference Championship Tournament.  RSC, seeded third, will host Alfred, the six seed, on Tuesday, November 1 at the ACP Athletic Complex. Start time is TBA.

Forward Natalie Ricci (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes), a graduate student, the reigning E8 Player of the Week, converted a PK in the 26th minute to open the scoring.

After the Highlanders (6-7-4/3-4-2 E8), which were in position to secure an E8 postseason berth with a home victory, scored twice to take the lead, RSC increased its pressure. Though out-shot 10-9 and only earning two corners compared to seven for Houghton across the matinee, the Gators took six of their shots after going down 2-1 with 29:48 remaining.

Senior midfielder Meredith Powell (Lee, MA / Monument Mountain Regional) tied the contest with 2:04 left. Junior forward Kennedy Jones (Albany, NY/Albany) won the ball deep inside the box and to the side of the goal. Her cross dribbled to an uncovered Powell sitting at the top of the goalie box to deposit into the net.

Jones scored her third-consecutive game-winner 30 seconds later. After a Houghton turnover in the RSC end, senior defender Delaney Gillis (Hardwick, MA/Quabbin Regional) booted the ball deep and away.  The high bouncer cleared the Highlander backline for Jones to run onto. The newcomer chipped the ball past charging Houghton senior goalkeeper Megan Merrifield into the left corner of the goal.

Merrifield (Loss, 5-7-4) stopped three RSC shots, while goalkeeper Mickaela Buzzy (Oneonta, NY/Oneonta), a graduate student, (Win, 6-3-0) made a pair of saves for the Gators.


Notes: RSC will be making its third appearance in the E8 Championship Tournament…The Gators won the 2020-21 tournament title…The winner of Tuesday's game vs. Alfred will play at Nazareth, the two seed, on Thursday, November 3...Forward Natalie Ricci (Cohoes, NY/Cohoes), a graduate student, was named the E8 Player of the Week on Monday…The team captain ranks in the top-ten in school history for career points and career goals…12 players, including Ricci, a three-time first-team All-Conference pick, returned this fall…Junior forward Marissa Key (Monroe, NY/Monroe-Woodbury), who registered nine points last season, and all three goalkeepers also came back.


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