No. 15 field hockey scores convincing win in season opener

Eleni Neyland '18 (left) and Michaela Giuttari '20 (Josh McKee photo)
Eleni Neyland '18 (left) and Michaela Giuttari '20 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Michaela Giuttari '20 scored three goals and the nationally ranked No. 15 Continentals cruised to a 7-2 non-conference win against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Hamilton's foggy Goodfriend Field on Wednesday night.

New head coach Melissa Mariano picked up her first win in her first game with the Continentals and it was the 130th victory of her collegiate coaching career. Mariano had spent the last nine years at Franklin & Marshall College.

Giuttari recorded the first three-goal game of her short Hamilton career. She was fifth in the NESCAC with 36 points last year when she was voted the conference's rookie of the year. Maddie Beitler '21 notched two goals in her first collegiate action, Lizzie Clarke '20 chipped in a goal and an assist and Tatiana Bradley '19 was credited with a pair of helpers. All-American goalkeeper Julia Booth '19 made eight saves. The seven goals are the most scored by the Continentals in the 26-game all-time series against RPI.

Taylor Clink and Mekayla Wakeman scored for the Engineers (0-3 overall) off rebounds after Booth had stopped initial shots. Clink leads the team with two goals. Mac Reininger and Emma Lewis came up with one defensive save apiece. Rachel Kaufman started in goal and turned away six shots in 29-plus minutes. Kayla Bell made seven saves in her first action in goal this year.

Beitler gave Hamilton a 1-0 lead with a penalty stroke goal just 4:23 into the first half. Giuttari made it 2-0 almost 10 minutes later when she scored on a nice pass ahead from Clarke. Eleni Neyland '18 put the Continentals up by three on her first career goal with 17:55 left in the half. Aly Skelly '18 sent a bouncing shot towards the cage that Neyland controlled and directed past the goalie from close range.

Clink put RPI on the scoreboard 86 seconds later but Hamilton restored its three-goal cushion with 14:06 remaining in the half when Clarke scored on a blast off a penalty corner that was set up by Liz Wagenbach '18. Wakeman closed out the first half scoring and cut the Engineers' deficit in half with 5:21 to go.

The second half was all Continentals. Giuttari scored with 30:39 left when she cleaned up a rebound after Bell had stopped a shot by Sarah Stinebaugh '19. Giuttari made it 6-2 almost 15 minutes later on a great individual effort as she scored from close range after dribbling the ball into the circle. Beitler closed out the scoring with 5:36 remaining. Bradley inserted the ball on a penalty corner directly to Beitler on the left side and she smacked a shot from near the edge of the circle. Booth stopped all five shots she faced in the second half.

Hamilton hosts Bates in NESCAC action on Saturday, Sept. 9 at noon. RPI plays non-conference foe Endicott College at home on Saturday at noon.