McNeally overturns tie scores game-winning goal

In their first home game of the season against then-No. 18 ranked Ithaca College at East Campus Athletic Village Stadium, the Rensselaer men’s lacrosse team fought to take back the lead as the clock ticked away in the final quarter. The final goal of the day by junior Breanainn McNeally with 5:26 left in play relinquished the 7-7 tie to give the Engineers the advantage that would result in an 8-7 victory.

Down 3-1 by the close of the first quarter, RPI was able to decrease their deficit by one point to 6-3 thanks to a goal from junior Matt Hall with 1:58 remaining.

Michael Walker and Stephen Morrell scored the first two goals of the afternoon for the Bombers. RPI retaliated with one goal by junior Jake Weidner to raise the score to 2-1. Ithaca scored again with the final goal of the quarter fired by Michael Walker.

11:42 into the second period, Jake Cotton increased the Bombers’ lead to 4-1. Back-to-back goals by senior team captains Billy Gibbs and Pat Hogan at 9:09 and 7:20 helped the Engineers up to 3-4.

Kaelan Fitzpatrick scored at 6:06. Even at 5-3, the Bombers were still unsatisfied, helping Jake Cotton to give Ithaca a 6-3 lead, their final three-point lead of the afternoon.

Ithaca’s lead finally broke at 5:59 into the third quarter when junior Matt Hall made his second goal of the evening. His goal preceded scores from himself and McNeally to tie the game at 6-6. Then, freshman Lucas Bastarache made a goal, putting the Engineers up by one.

Ahead 7-6 going into the fourth period, the Engineers prepared for the Bombers’ attempt to reclaim the lead. Ithaca did just what was expected at 11:33 of the fourth quarter with a goal by Eli Gobrecht, but their plans were shattered when the Engineers closed in on their goal to win 8-7.

The team will travel to Whittier College in California on March 17.