Establishing herself as a key figure for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Engineers offensive attack, Marah Wagner provides a tremendous consistency. In each of her two seasons, the Engineers won seven games when she logged at least one point, accounting for more than 60 percent of their wins. Combining a fundamentally sound game with strong leadership, Wright, raised in Langley, British Columbia, made an immediate impact upon her arrival. Finishing as the leading scorer, the Engineers found themselves a gem.
Prior to RPI, Wright’s NCAA journey began with Pennsylvania’s RMU Colonials in the College Hockey America (CHA) conference. Appearing in all 36 games of her freshman campaign, it demonstrated a display of reliability that stands as the hallmark of her career. Despite logging only one goal during the season, she made an impression, bulging the twine versus the dynastic Minnesota Golden Gophers. Signifying the thrilling milestone of her first NCAA goal, Wagner placed the puck past Sydney Scobee in a 6-2 loss on October 12, 2019, with Joelle Fiala earning the assist.
A few weeks later, a unique element of foreshadowing emerged. A November 4, 2019 road game versus RPI saw Wagner enjoy the first mukti-point game of her collegiate career. Earning assists on a pair of third period goals by Anjelica Diffendal in a 6-1 final, completing a convincing weekend sweep
Among the milestones in Colonials colors, the two most notable occurred in her sophomore season. Enjoying the majesty of a conference championship, defeating the Syracuse Orange in an exhilarating CHA Finals, prevailing by a 1-0 tally, Wagner contributed five shots while Raygan Kirk logged the shutout. Qualifying for the 2021 NCAA Tournament, reaching the prestigious plateau for the second time in program history, it marked a cherished milestone that remains a point of pride for Wagner.
“It was an amazing feeling winning the CHA championship my sophomore year and making an appearance in the NCAA tournament. We had a great group of players and a lot of fuel from the memories of losing the previous year in OT.
Therefore, being able to beat Mercyhurst in the semis and Syracuse in the finals just made the win so much sweeter. There has been no other feeling like it. Making an appearance at the NCAA tournament, it was just an amazing experience and something I cherish being a part of everyday.”
Following such an exceptional season, a tremendous feeling of shock and sadness rocked the Colonials athletic community. In the aftermath of the 20-21 season, the men’s and women’s programs were discontinued, forcing numerous players to be displaced, careers sadly disrupted.
Finding a new home with the RPI Engineers in Troy, New York, Wagner’s arrival paid immediate dividends. Named an assistant captain, she found the back of the net in her Engineers debut, a hard-fought overtime loss on September 24, 2021 versus the Mercyhurst Lakers. Emerging as one of the Engineers faceoff specialists, she won 13 of 16 faceoff attempts versus their intrastate rivals, the Union Dutchwomen in a convincing 9-2 victory on October 9. Scoring the first goal of the game, Wagner also logged assists on goals by Riena Jahnke and Taylor Larsen.
Before season’s end, Wagner enjoyed another highlight versus the Dutchwomen. With the fourth annual Mayor’s Cup taking place on January 29, 2022, the neutral site game at Albany’s MVP Arena, resulted in her finest hour. As elite goaltender Amanda Rampado recorded 28 saves, Wagner found the back of the net at the 15:38 mark of the third period, breaking a scoreless tie. With Lauren Severson logging the assist, it stood as the game-winning goal, her first as an Engineer. Less than three minutes later, Asiah Taylor-Walters added her name to the scoresheet in a 2-0 final, allowing the Engineers their third Cup triumph.
Amassing a solid 21 points in her first season for the Engineers, Wagner, also an ECAC All-Academic, led the team in goals and assists. Also the team leader in power play goals, she paced all players in blocked shots, demonstrating an exceptional versatility. Equally impressive, she won 385 of 715 faceoffs. Logging at least one point in seven of the Engineers nine wins in 21-22, Wagner delivered an MVP-calibre season.
“Coming in the start of my junior year, I knew I had a lot to prove and wanted to contribute everything I could to the team. It meant a considerable amount to lead the team in scoring and blocked shots. Being able to not only make an impact on the ice in stats, but as a leader for the team (and) as a captain the past two years has been amazing. Something (that) I am extremely grateful for. To come into RPI and to make an impact was amazing and I am so excited to see what this upcoming season holds.”
Named one of the co-captains for the 2022-23 season, sharing the honor with Rampado, both led the way through work ethic and a positive example. From the outset, Rampado started every game for the Engineers. Recording at least one point in the team’s first five wins of the season, Wagner maintained a solid presence on offense. In the Engineers first win of the season, a 2-0 shutout win versus the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers, Wagner recorded the game-winning goal, finding the back of the net versus Emma Stephen at the 4:28 mark of the second period, with Nina Christof and Ellie Kaiser earning the assists. Worth noting, her contributions included 18 faceoffs won.
This season, Wagner was not on the scoresheet for just two of the Engineers wins, displaying her value once again, as her numbers were part of 77% of their win total. Undeniably, the most fulfilling of those wins proved to be the jubilation of a second straight Mayor’s Cup. Facing a 1-0 deficit, three unanswered goals in the third period turned the tide, while Rampado needed only 23 saves for her ninth win of the season. Earning the opportunity to hoist the coveted prize as co-captain, it marked a career highlight destined to be treasured.
Fittingly, Senior Night saw both team captains step up, demonstrating strong leadership through their efforts. Hosting the Colgate Raiders at Houston Field House on February 18, 2023, a group of 10 celebrated seniors included Wagner, enjoying one more statistical highlight. Recording the Engineers only goal of the game, scored shorthanded with her proud parents in attendance, while Rampado faced an astounding 59 shots, their collaborative efforts demonstrated the resiliency displayed by the team all season. Although Senior Night did not translate into a victory, determination never wavered, providing Wagner with confidence that the seasons to come shall prove fruitful.
Despite a postseason berth eluding the Engineers in 22-23, Wagner enjoyed one more accolade. Along with Hannah Price and Rampado, all three became the newest members of Olympia, the athletic department’s Student-Athlete Honor Society. With so much to be proud of, from consistent on-ice performance, to an exceptional devotion in the classroom, the highly gracious Wagner exemplifies a tremendous character.
“It was very special to score on senior night. Having my mum and dad in the stands and the rest of the family watching across the country, just a special moment. RPI has become family to me from the moment I moved to Troy. The bond that the players created with each other and the love this team has built for each other is like no other I have been apart of. It is a special group of people, and I am beyond proud and grateful to be with this group of players and individuals, I am looking forward to continuing the journey with them this upcoming season.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”