Vassar Drops Defensive Battle to RPI in Liberty Opener

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (March 24, 2010) The upset-minded Vassar College men's lacrosse team scored two quick goals in a bid to unseat No. 19 nationally ranked Rensselaer in the Liberty League opener for both teams. But while the Brewers defense played at the premium, the offense stalled under a stifling defense from the Engineers, who pulled away with two big fourth quarter goals en route to a 6-3 victory at Weinberg Field on Wednesday night.

The Brewers drop to 3-4, 0-1 and will next host Richard Stockton on March 27 at 3:30 p.m. RPI improves to 6-0, 1-0 and next travels to Montclair State for a 2:00 p.m. game on March 27.

Vassar's bid to upset RPI began 34 seconds into the game when sophomore attack Jack Gross scooped up a groundball and went straight to goal, notching his ninth goal of the season past RPI freshman goalie James Manchester. The Brewers struck again with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter when junior attack Sam Seymour pushed the Brewers ahead 2-0 following an RPI turnover.

RPI closed out the first quarter with three straight goals , one coming from junior attack Nick Billy and two straight from junior attack Connor Chocheles. Both of Chocheles goals were rifled into the catch at point blank range against Vassar junior goalie Alex Tice who was superb in goal with nine saves. Chocheles' second goal, which put RPI ahead 3-2, was a backbreaker as it came with just 31 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Vassar rebounded with vengeance and determination and tied the contest at 3-3 in the second quarter on a nifty goal by junior midfielder Sam Seymour, who raced through the crease and beat his defender top side, drilling his goal past Manchester, who made six saves in the game.

The Engineers scored the game's final three goals, the game winner coming from Billy off a Vassar turnover and with just 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The RPI junior attack picked up a groundball and streaked down the field off a transitional fast break. He faked his shot several times drawing Tice out from the cage to challenge, and then slipped his shot past Tice's hip on his stick side.

Coming out of intermission with a slight 4-3 lead, RPI ratcheted up its defensive pressure, but so did the Brewers. The third quarter went scoreless, due to a high level of defensive intensity and hard checking by both teams. It featured five shots on goal by both teams, but only RPI threatened to get on the board, putting two shots on goal against Tice, one by freshman attack Eric Valero and a second by freshman midfielder Travis Armiger, that sailed just high of the goal as time ran down.

RPI tacked on an all-important insurance goal to push its lead to 5-3 with 11:40 to play in the fourth quarter. Senior attack Devin Arnold tallied his goal off a high bouncer past Tice. With 9:38 to play, a goal from freshman midfielder Wes Rudy pushed RPI ahead 6-3 and made a Vassar comeback a tall order given the tightening of the Engineer defense and solid play from Manchester in goal.

2010-03-25



Create a free lacrosse website