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RPI beats Whittier Poets in California

After nabbing the lead 1:10 into play last Saturday, March 12, at the East Campus Athletic Village Stadium, Rochester Institute of Technology maintained their advantage over the Engineers throughout the afternoon to win 12-8. However, Rensselaer rebounded the following Thursday during Spring Break when they traveled to Southern California to face Whittier College. They walloped the Poets 17-9.

Jay Vakiener secured the first goal for the Tigers on Saturday, but junior Matt Hall responded at 6:31 to tie the game for the first time that day. It would also be the last time, as Alec Sulesky closed out scoring for the period to leave the Engineers trailing 2-1.

At 4:56 into the second period, Cam Isaac brought the score up to 3-1, and then teammate Chad Levick helped RIT to a three-point lead in his first of four goals for the game.

RPI returned with back-to-back goals from sophomore Matthew Gilman and junior Breanainn McNeally, who would go on to lead scoring for the Engineers that day with five goals.

At the close of the second quarter, RIT had doubled Rensselaer’s score to finish 6-3. During that time, RPI had put up only two goals to RIT’s four.

Hall began scoring with his second and final goal at 4:25 into the new half, only to watch as the Tigers scored back-to-back goals in the succeeding two minutes. Then came another goal by McNeally; however, RIT scored twice more to finish out the third period leading 10-5.

Even after each team scored two points in the first half of the fourth quarter, the Engineers were still five points down; it was a fight to the end as the game came down to the wire. McNeally scored one final time with 5:14 left to lights out, but the Tigers restricted any further access to their goal to ensure their victory.

Thursday proved more successful for Rensselaer when they competed against the Whittier College Poets. A combined twelve points from McNeally and Hall led them to their 17-9 victory.

The Engineers were ahead 6-1 after the first period, as the Poets managed to only put up one goal. McNeally was responsible for two of the six goals.

The second period was the busiest for scoring, as Whittier made their greatest comeback effort to earn five points to Rensselaer’s four. At 10-5, they had still only obtained half of what they needed; RPI was still firmly in the lead.

Two more goals by McNeally set Rensselaer even further apart from Whittier in the third period. The Poets only sent one ball into the net during that time.

With 1:33 remaining of play, Matt Symes scored what would be the final goal of the game for the Poets, but since the Engineers had already put up five of the seven goals scored during the period, the Poets were out of luck.

Connecticut College will host the Engineers in a non-league game at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 23. This Saturday, RPI will compete away at Bard College.

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