CLERMONT, Fla. - The Haverford College women's lacrosse team came painstakingly close to capping its spring break trip to Florida with an upset of 16th-ranked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) but the Engineers hung on for the 13-11 overtime victory at the National Training Center on Thursday afternoon.
The Fords (3-2) jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the game on goals by Megan Gallagher and Christina Gould. RPI (1-2) then responded with three straight goals to take its first lead of the contest with 20 minutes remaining in the half.
Freshman Sarina Manetta showed the Engineers they were in for the battle the rest of the afternoon when she tied the score at 3-3 with her first of two on the day at the 15-minute mark.
The game continued to be a back-and-forth affair as the two squads went on to trade goals three more times before intermission leading to a halftime score of 6-6.
Ranked in the top 10 of the final 2013 Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll, RPI came out strong in the second half with two goals in the first five minutes of action.
Manetta trimmed the Engineers' advantage to one with 23 minutes remaining before Rachel Scofield restored RPI's two-goal cushion with 17:44 left in regulation.
Haverford did not back down from the challenge however as Diana Perry, the Fords' leading goal scorer on the year, moved her squad within one (9-8) a minute later.
Sophomore Elyse Adler's third goal of the season off a feed from Manetta accounted for the sixth tie of the game (9-9) as Haverford continued to grow in confidence.
A man-up goal from Jamie Wakefield allowed the Engineers to push out in front once more with 12:38 to play.
The score would remain unchanged over the next seven minutes before Perry took over with back-to-back goals separated by four minutes. Perry's third goal on the day gave the Fords an 11-10 lead with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Rensselaer managed to force overtime with a goal by Erin Riley with 11 ticks left on the clock. The Engineers then tallied the only two goals of the two three-minute overtime sessions to escape with the narrow victory.
Perry and Gallagher finished with three goals apiece while Gould and Manetta added two goals and an assist each.
Shannon Horn (8-1) made eight saves in the loss.
RPI's Wakefield took game-high scoring honors with five goals and an assist. Erin Amarello (1-2) registered five stops on her way to earning her first win of the season.
Haverford continues its season on Wednesday when it welcomes Eastern University to Swan Field at 4 p.m.