7th-Ranked RPI Edges Saints 2-1
Ben Russell scored his first goal of the season with just under eight minutes to go in the first half and it stood as the game winner as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute turned back St. Lawrence University 2-1 in a Liberty League soccer game at SLU's Sandy MacAllaster Field Sunday afternoon.
RPI, 11-1-2 overall and 4-1-1 in Liberty League play is ranked seventh nationally and trails only 5-1-0 Hamilton in the Liberty League standings. St. Lawrence, 7-6-0 overall and 1-5-0 in league play, lost its fourth in a row and has been eliminated from the conference tournament, the first time the Saints will not be in post-season play since conference tournament play was instituted.
The Engineers opened the scoring with the game just 4:22 old as Blake Adams set up Jabel Prom right in front of Saint goalie Nate Goss-Woliner and while Goss-Woliner got a piece of Prom's rising shot, the ball went just under the crossbar for Prom's fifth goal of the season.
RPI made it a 2-0 game at 37:15 as Zach Fane headed up field on a breakaway, crossing the ball to Russell for the eventual winning goal into a wide-open net as the Saint goalie could do nothing to stop the shot.
St. Lawrence cut the Engineer lead in half early in the second half as Brendon Gorman broke into the box and sent a cross to Joey Mattina who put his first goal of the year past RPI keeper Alex Penny, but despite several great opportunities the rest of the way, the Saints could not come up with the equalizer.
"RPI is ranked where it is and has the record it has for a reason," said Saint coach Bob Durocher. "We gave them a couple of opportunities and they converted on their chances. I thought we came at them pretty well in the second half, but we had some shots go just wide or just high."
Penny finished with seven saves for RPI, four of them in the second half while Goss-Woliner had four stops for the Saints.
SLU had an overall 18-12 edge in shots and the teams were even in corner kicks at 3-3.