No. 20 men’s lacrosse takes down Liberty League foes

After falling in both its contests last week, the men’s lacrosse team came back to sweep both Skidmore College and the nationally-ranked Rochester Institute of Technology. The No. 20 Engineers defeated the Skidmore Thoroughbreds by a 11-8 margin on Wednesday, and took down the No. 4 RIT Tigers 10-7 at the East Campus Stadium on Saturday. The two wins put RPI at 9-2 overall on the season with a 3-1 conference record.

Rensselaer’s first match of the week saw Skidmore jump to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. However, the Engineers quickly responded with five-straight goals of their own through the first and second quarters to establish a 5-4 lead. Junior Mike Sarson, freshman Connor Sullivan, and senior Andrew Liptak all tallied in that span, while junior Wes Rudy hit the back of the net twice.

The Thoroughbreds knotted the match up at five-all with 6:24 left in the second quarter, but RPI junior David Hey notched his fifth goal of the season to put the Engineers back on top. However, two goals in the final minutes of the half gave Skidmore a one-goal advantage heading to the intermission.

Visiting RPI bounced back in the second half, scoring five goals while only allowing one. Junior Brett Overend started the rush with his 13th of the season at 12:45 of the third quarter, and was followed by senior Scott Stolzenberg at 10:17. Sullivan added his second of the match at 7:43 to put the Engineers up 9-7 at the end of three quarters of play.

Although Skidmore managed to light up the scoreboard once in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough to overcome RPI’s offensive onslaught as insurance goals from senior Grant Foulsham and Liptak sealed the 11-8 victory for the Engineers. In net for RPI, sophomore Alex Castronovo had 12 saves in the win, while Skidmore sophomore Matt Diaco had nine stops.

Rensselaer carried that momentum into Saturday’s contest against No. 4 RIT. After trading goals throughout the first half, the Engineers came out firing in the second to come away with the narrow 10-7 victory led by Overend’s five goals.

The Tigers struck first with a goal at 13:13 of the first quarter, and it took until the final minutes for the Engineers to respond. Overend scored his first of the afternoon with 1:38 remaining in the frame, but was quickly followed by RIT senior Tom Riley. However, senior Paul DiLandro netted his first of two on the day with 11 ticks remaining on the clock to even the score at two.

RIT once again opened the second quarter, but was followed by goals from Overend and Rudy. The Tigers added two more to take a 5-4 lead, but tallied from Foulsham and Overend to give Rensselaer a 6-5 advantage after the first half.

The Engineers exploded in the second half, scoring four goals to RIT’s two. Overend and Rudy hit the back of the net in the third quarter, while DiLandro provided an insurance goal in the fourth. Overend scored his fifth of the match with 8:42 left in regulation play. Despite two late goals from the Tigers, Castronovo was able to keep any additional balls from the back of the net, preserving the victory.

Castronovo finished with 10 saves, including one in the first quarter, three in the second, four in the third, and two in the fourth. At the other end of the field, RIT sophomore Anthony DeLeo had seven stops.

Yesterday senior defenseman Tyler Hutchinson was named the league’s top Defensive Performer of the Week after aiding the Engineers in their two victories. Hutchinson was key in RPI’s win over the Tigers, limiting their third-ranked man-up scoring, and keeping tabs on the league’s top scorer.

RPI will play one game this week, a Liberty League match against Union College on Saturday. The game is set to take place in Schenectady at 7 pm.