TROY, N.Y. – The Castleton University field hockey team fell on the road at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 3-1, in the Spartans' penultimate game of the regular season on Wednesday evening.
Castleton will play its final regular season contest at Keene State (14-5, 10-1 LEC) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The winner of that game will be the Little East Conference (LEC) regular season champion. Regardless of that outcome, the Spartans will host a quarterfinal game on Tuesday with the time and opponent to be determined.
Castleton drops to 12-4 (10-1 LEC) while RPI improves to 5-11 (3-4 Liberty). The Engineers outshot the Spartans 16-11 while taking a 14-7 advantage on corners including two goals as a result of penalty corners.
Castleton struck first and scored the lone goal of the first half while accounting for four out of the five total shots on goal in the half. Moments after Allison Lowell's shot from a Spartan corner resulted in a defensive save by Taylor Clink, Castleton was issued a penalty stroke. Loretta Blakeney took the shot and converted at the 27:33 mark.
The Engineers tied the game at one on a penalty corner when Jena Dolinar took the ball inserted by Casey Collette and fired a shot that was deflected and sailed over the defensive cluster and dropped into the cage.
Then after drawing a foul, Dolinar played a quick restart and Charisse Stakutis won a battle in front before following up her first attempt on goal with a successful shot for her third goal of the season.
Castleton's had a prime chance of attaining the equalizer at 61:57 when a ball deflected and bounced to Gabriella Hunt with a straight look at goal from eight yards, but RPI goalkeeper, Marissa Florio made the save, one of seven on the evening.
The Engineers put the game away at 64:45 on a penalty corner when Mikaela DiBello deflected the shot by Dolinar past Tashia Pashby-Rockwood. Collette picked up the second assist on the tally having inserted the ball on the corner.
Pashby-Rockwood made four saves in the effort for Castleton.