Women win league semifinals

SENIOR MIDFIELDER DEVON BAUGHEN FIRES a cross toward the goal. (file photo)

This past week, the men’s soccer team extended their win streak to five wins, defeating Keene State College 1–0 on Wednesday. However, the team only managed a 0–0 draw against Saint Thomas Aquinas College the following Saturday. For the women’s team, they picked up their fourth loss of the season in a 1–0 game against Skidmore College. The team made up for the loss the following Tuesday, defeating Vassar College in the Liberty League Tournament 1–0.

At Keene, the action started early in favor of the Engineers. In the fifth minute of play, senior Nick Revano scored what would be the only goal of the game on the second shot of the day.

Rensselaer continued pressuring the Owls, putting up a total of five shots in the first fifteen minutes. In the following 10 minutes, Keene struck back, firing two blocked shots and one that went wide.

Freshman goalie Matt LaBranche proved his worth around the 30 minute mark, making not one, but four saves from Keene pressure to keep the Engineers in the lead.

Despite their lead, the Owls outshot the Engineers 11–9 in the first half.

Keene continued to pressure RPI through a series of shots and corner kicks, but all attempts at evening the score were thwarted, leading to a victory for Rensselaer.

Like their game on Wednesday, the Engineers had a number of early attempts against the Spartans, but this time they were unable to sink one in the net.

Even with two overtime periods and 20 shots on net compared to Saint Thomas’ 13, the Engineers were not able to further extend their win streak. LaBranche still had reason to celebrate, as it was his sixth straight shutout.

The women’s team also took an aggressive start to their game last Sunday, punching in three shots in the first 10 minutes, two of which were saved by Skidmore’s Deidre Walsh, and one that went high.

The first and only goal did not come until late in the first half, when Thoroughbred player Christina Sanzari picked up a cross from Emily Saliterman, curling the shot into the net.

Determined to keep their win streak, the Engineers cranked up the pressure and put up 10 shots over the course of the half. Despite all of the attempts, not one managed its way into the net, and the game ended in a disappointing loss.

Based on the first half, RPI had its work cut out for itself Tuesday; Vassar outshot the RPI 7–2 and continued this pressure into the second half. But it was Rensselaer who would score the first and only goal.

Freshman Jacqui Richard flicked a ball to freshman Emily Kaplan, who contained the pass and returned it to Richard, who pounded a shot past Brewers goalie Stephanie Tapolsky.

Both teams created opportunities for themselves throughout the remainder of the half, but neither team managed to score. With the win, it is the first time in school history that the women’s soccer team has won a Liberty League Tournament game. The Engineers will travel to take on top seed and first-ranked William Smith College on Saturday.