On Saturday, April 5, RPI men’s lacrosse faced off against undefeated and number one ranked Rochester Institute of Technology at East Campus Stadium. This game marked RPI’s fourth Liberty League game and RIT’s second. RPI entered the game with seven wins and two losses, ranking first in the liberty league. RIT came in to the game on a 10 game winning streak and ranked third in the Liberty League and first in the nation. The Engineers were hoping for a win in order to establish themselves within the liberty league and in the nation.
As the opening whistle blew, both teams fired off the line, creating a brawl at center field for the ball. RPI proved to be victorious with sophomore defensemen John Phillips, picking up the ball and clearing it down to RIT’s side of the field. However, this valiant effort was at a loss, as RIT was able to recover the ball and strike first, scoring the first goal with 14:13 left in the first quarter. After an impressive stop by RPI’s defense, the Engineers were able to get the ball in the hands of sophomore midfielder Billy Gibbs, who was able to produce a goal in order to tie the game at one. RIT came out firing after the goal; however, RPI wouldn’t budge an inch, preventing RIT from scoring. RPI, finally gaining possession, found themselves a man up after a slashing penalty from RIT. RPI freshman attackman Matt Hall capitalized on the event scoring with 7:53 left in the first quarter, giving RPI their first lead. The Engineers, controlling momentum, came back and scored again from the sure fired stick of Hall.
However, RIT came right back, showing why they’re ranked number one in the country and scored three goals within two minutes to regain the lead at RPI 3, RIT 4. The Engineers didn’t break after this run of goals, as Hall was able to score again with 1:45 left in the game to tie it back up. Sadly, this score could not be held as RIT was able to find the back of the net, to give them a lead going into the second quarter.
The Engineers were able to start the quarter off with a bang with RPI freshman attackman Breanainn McNeally, scoring within 10 seconds of the opening whistle. RIT then began to show their dominance, controlling possession and scoring two back-to-back goals to make the score RPI 5, RIT 7. RPI, seeing the game slip away, put together another scoring possession. Junior attackman Aaron Shavel, found the back of the net with 8:10 left in the half. RPI was not able to hold on to momentum from this goal, as RIT controlled possession for the next six minutes; however, RPI defense held strong allowing no goals within this time. But, with 2:19 left in the half, RIT was able to find a break in the Engineer’s defense scoring with 2:19 left in the half. RIT piggy-backed on the momentum and produced two more goals going into half making the score RPI 6, RIT 10.
As the third quarter began, RPI’s defense wasn’t able to hold off RIT as they scored only two minutes into the half. RPI was able to gain possession after the faceoff but was unable to put together a shot that found the back of the net. RIT regained possession and score with 8:55 left in the third quarter to make the score RPI 6, RIT 12. RPI, seeing their hopes of victory slipping, was able to come back and score with 8:34 left in the third quarter. However, RPI was not able to hold on to this momentum as RIT scored to make the score RPI 7, RIT 13. The Engineers came back and produced another goal, but, RIT scored again directly following this goal to end the quarter making the score RPI 8, RIT 14.
The fourth quarter proved to be very uneventful as only one goal was produced from RIT with 7:55 left in the game to make the score RPI 8, RIT 14. RPI wasn’t able to produce a scoring possession, in part, due to the lack of emotion and energy from being down by five goals.
After this game, RPI’s record is 7 wins and 3 losses, and they drop to being third ranked in the Liberty League behind RIT, ranked first, and Union, ranked second. RPI’s next game is against Union on Friday, April 12.