#15 Rensselaer Gets by St. Lawrence in Liberty Semifinals

TROY, N.Y. Senior Devin Arnold (Buffalo, NY/Canisius) tallied a game-best four goals and rookie netminder James Manchester (Niskayuna, NY/Niskayuna) stopped 13 shots as the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's lacrosse team defeated St. Lawrence, 9-5, in the Liberty League Semifinals at East Campus Stadium on Friday.

With the win, the #15 Engineers improve to 13-2 on the season, and will host Skidmore College on Sunday in the conference championship. The winner of that game will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. St. Lawrence closes out its season with an 8-7 mark, falling to RPI for the second time this season.

Tied 2-2 after the first half of action, Rensselaer freshman Wes Rudy (Doylestown, PA/The Hill School) pushed the home team ahead at 8:53, but St. Lawrence fired right back as Tucker Garfield (Marblehead, MA/St. John's Prep) evened it at 3-all with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.

RPI responded quickly with two goals in the final 19 seconds of the stanza, including Arnold's second of the contest for a 5-3 advantage with a quarter remaining, and the Engineers scoring streak continued into the fourth stanza.

Sophomore Andrew Miller (New Hartford, NY/New Hartford) extended the rally, collecting a pass from Arnold and rifling a shot over the shoulder of Saints' goalie Andrew Cochran (Kenilworth, IL/Millbrook School) just 24 seconds in. Senior Bryant Johnson (Minnetonka, MN/The Blake School) and Arnold both followed with tallies to make it an 8-3 lead with 8:16 remaining.

The Saints continued to press despite the deficit as senior CP Rahe (Fairfield, CT/Fairfield Ludlowe) sent a far shot from 30-yards out past Manchester, but Arnold regained the five-goal advantage (9-4) with his fourth of the game at 5:01.

St. Lawrence managed to get another one past Manchester with just over two minutes to play, but the freshman netminder held solid down the stretch to secure RPI's first appearance in the Liberty League Championship game since May 9, 2006.

In addition to Arnold, who had a five-point afternoon, RPI saw Johnson add two goals and an assist. Miller had two goals, while four other players recorded an assist. Manchester moved to 13-2 on the season, stopping four shots in the first quarter and three in each of the second, third and fourth stanzas.

For St. Lawrence, five different players recorded goals, led by sophomore Caldwell Rohrbach (Seattle, WA/Seattle Academy), who had a goal and an assist. In goal, Cochran finished with nine saves through 49:02 of action. Freshman Jeff Goeke (Princeton, NJ/Princeton) came on for the final 10:58, recording one save.

Sunday's contest will mark RPI's first appearance in the Liberty League Finals since May 9, 2006 and its second meeting of the season against the Thoroughbreds. The Engineers defeated Skidmore, 10-9, on March 31 at East Campus Stadium.

2010-05-07



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