Men’s Soccer defeats Vassar; loses title game

SENIOR MIDFIELDER TYLER KESSLER SETS UP to kick the ball into the Vassar zone. The Engineers defeated the Brewers 3-1 before losing to St. Lawrence in the finals.

In the Liberty League semifinals on Wednesday, November 5, junior forward Nathaniel Gunderson scored twice in the second half to give the Engineers a 2-0 lead over visiting Vassar College. The second goal was assisted by senior forward Tim Terrezza.

Later, in the 84th minute, senior midfielder Matt Koziol scored to cushion RPI’s lead to three. One goal in the 90th minute for Vassar was too little, too late as the Engineers posted a 3-1 victory and advanced to the conference finals against St. Lawrence University.

The conference finals took place on Saturday, November 8 at St. Lawrence. Under the gun from the start, senior goalie Rob Dewald stood up to the test in the first half, making four saves in the opening half to help Rensselaer stay level with the Saints.

Early in the second half, RPI put the pressure on opposing goalie Sean Houston, taking two shots in the 49th minute, one of which Houston had to knock away. But, it was the Saints that controlled possession and created several opportunities to score. The RPI defense fought valiantly to keep St. Lawrence at bay. In the 66th minute, St. Lawrence senior back Austin Roney dribbled up the sideline and found senior midfielder Mark Provost on the left wing, who drilled a high shot over Dewald’s head and into the Engineer net to give the home team the lead.

In the final 25 minutes, the Engineers kept the Saints from expanding their lead, but managed just two scoring opportunities, both of which failed to find their mark. It was just the Engineers’ second loss in Liberty League play all season, both of which came at the hands of top-ranked St. Lawrence. The Engineers finished their season with a superb record of 12-4-3.