Men’s soccer maintained its spotless record with two home wins against in-state opponents Oneonta and Potsdam last week.
In a Wednesday night showdown against Oneonta’s Red Dragons, the RPI defense held strong against a nine-shot siege in the opening 26 minutes. Meanwhile, the Rensselaer offense failed to attempt a single shot in the first half.
The momentum of the game changed early in the second half on one possession. In the 58th minute, senior midfielder Matt Carberry sent the ball flying into the Oneonta zone. Senior forward Nathaniel Gunderson located the ball before the defender could and kicked it past keeper Vincent Pellegrino to put the Engineers ahead.
Sophomore goalie Ryan Nealon saved two shot attempts down the stretch and earned his fifth shutout of the season.
In the second game of the week, RPI scored two minutes in to take a 1-0 edge. The goal was scored by junior midfielder Devon Baughen, his fourth of the season, and was assisted by Gunderson. Potsdam responded quickly, scoring the equalizer six minutes later.
Rensselaer went ahead again in the sixteenth minute of the game when senior Paul Lentine converted a penalty kick into his third score of the season and a 2-1 lead for the Engineers. Then, in the second half junior midfielder Vito Mesiti scored his second goal of the season assisted by Carberry to pad the Engineer lead. Nealon saved both shots he faced in the second half, cementing the 3-1 victory for the Engineers.
Thanks to the impressive 7-0 start, Rensselaer is now ranked 15th in the country. Next up are two road games against Bard and Babson Colleges this weekend on Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th, respectively.