Men’s lacrosse proves dominant in home opener

Freshman scoring duo and strong goalkeeping leads Engineers over Keene State

FRESHMAN MIDFIELDER BEN PIERSAK PURSUES the ball following a successful faceoff against an opposing Keene State player in the Saturday March 1 game against the Owls. The Engineers came out on top with a 10-6 victory following 15 saves by senior goalie Alex Castronovo matches with a powerful third and fourth quarter.

On Saturday, March 1, RPI lacrosse had their first home game of the season against Keene State at ECAV stadium. After losing their first game to Montclair State in a fourth quarter struggle–where Montclair produced four goals to RPI’s none to win the game—RPI was looking to bounce back and reclaim what they hope to be a successful season.

RPI was able to strike first, scoring seven seconds into the game from freshman Breanainn McNeally. RPI, with momentum behind them, came back and scored again with 8:26 left in the first quarter by the hands of sophomore attack Patrick Finn. RPI began to look like they were going to run away with the game when Keene State attack man Tyler McKelvie showed his athleticism by scoring a behind the back goal. RPI goalie Alex Castronovo shut out the other two scoring attempts from Keene State to end the quarter with a 2-1 lead.

The second quarter began with RPI producing two quick shots from sophomore midfielder Pat Hogan and McNeally,;however, due to great goal keeping by Keene State goalie Alex Sharp, both attempts produced no results. When Keene State finally got the ball out of their side of the field, Bryan Rotatori capitalized on the opportunity and scored with 12:10 left in the second quarter. After a couple minutes of exchanged possessions, freshman attack Matt Hall was able to score after a Keene State turnover to regain the lead 3-2 with 9:12 left in the second quarter. Keene State came back and scored two goals from Tyler Reilly and Tyler McKelvie to make the score RPI three to Keene State four. RPI, not wanting to go into half time losing, was able to muster together one last play. Hall took a shot with 11 seconds left in the half, his shot went wide. With only one second left in the half, McNeally was able to pick up a ground ball and pass to Finn, who shot from 10 yards out to tie the game at four going into half time.

RPI won the opening faceoff of the third quarter and produced three quick shots; sadly, none found the back of the net. Hall was finally able to get one in with 10:36 left in the second period. The next nine minutes of play proved to be a back and forth battle of exchanged possessions and missed opportunities. To end the third quarter, RPI pulled out two goals within four seconds of each other coming from Hall and McNeally to give RPI a 7-4 lead.

As the fourth quarter began, RPI was determined not to have a repeat of what happened in the previous game where Montclair State scored four goals to RPI’s none to give Montclair the win. Using this as motivation, RPI produced a quick goal from McNeally with 14:10 left in the fourth quarter to give RPI an 8-4 lead. The rest of the fourth quarter consisted of two goals for each team being scored in alternating fashion.

The game ended with RPI pulling out a 10–6 win. Being led by the steady goal keeping of Castronovo and the freshman duo of Hall and McNeally—who combined scored seven of RPI’s 10 goals—the rest of the season has the strong potential for success.