RPI battles to two-overtime tie with Dutchmen

RENSSELAER SOCCER PLAYER FRESHMAN MATT KOZIOL RACES to beat an opposing player to the soccer ball during last week’s home game against RIT. The game ended in a 0-0 tie.

RPI was hoping to improve on a string of difficult results as they hosted conference rival Union College at Renwyck Field. The Engineers were looking to slow down an in form Dutchmen side that entered the game 9-1-0.

The game got off to a very exciting start for Engineer fans as RPI’s Sophomore Ryan Gracy had an excellent chance to score. He hit a well-struck header only 41 seconds into the match. Unfortunately for RPI, not only was the chance saved, but it was also one of only a few good chances they had throughout the entire first half.

From that point on, Union took control of the game with many threatening chances. However, one of the chances led the Engineer goalie, sophomore Craig Bennett to suffer an injury during a collision. Bennett left with a tie after only 11:35 minutes of play. Freshman Rob Dewald entered and saw out the rest of the game.

Senior Kevan Benn had the Dutchmen’s best chance of the half in the 23rd minute. He got onto the end of a dangerous free kick and redirected the ball with his head. Dewald could do nothing as the whole RPI team saw the ball bounce off of the cross bar and out of play.

After the intermission, both teams had a few solid chances to break the deadlock. Union senior Marc Zeyak came close to scoring on the hour mark, but his shot flew past the wrong side of the post. RPI’s best chance of the half was created by junior Adam Updegrove. He collected a loose ball and fired a pass to freshman Matt Koziol who then saw his attempt on the open goal saved by a scrambling senior Mike Szczesniak, the Union keeper.

With the game tied after regulation, the Engineers and Dutchmen continued into two periods of overtime. RPI tried to convert their momentum from the late chances into goals, but neither team could score and the game ended in a 0-0 tie.

Union is now 9-1-1, while Rensselaer is 4-3-3. The Engineers head to play Liberty League opponents Clarkson on October 15 at 4 pm and St Lawrence, currently No. 1 in the league, at 2 pm.