Men’s soccer claims win

RENSSELAER MEN’S SOCCER WON against SUNY Potsdam. (file photo)

Men’s soccer secured another exciting victory on Saturday, September 16, when they faced off against SUNY Potsdam. Going into the game, the Engineers were 3–2, with the Bears at 4–2 for the season. The game started off with consistent possession and a goal for RPI and eventually ended in a second goal in the second half, securing a confident lead.

The first half was defined by a high rate of possession from the home team, resulting in four shots on Potsdam’s goal in the first half. Just 17 minutes into the game, forward Austin Betterly ’20, supported by a fantastic pass by defender Tommy Sitton ’21, secured an early lead with an impressive cross followed by a perfectly executed left-footed shot into the top left corner of Potsdam’s goal. RPI was clearly the dominant team in the first half, managing a four-shot lead over Potsdam while keeping the ball out of reach of Potsdam’s defensive line.

In the second half, Potsdam came back with vengeance, determined to tie things up. It was filled with foul calls, with a few yellow cards being issued. Following a yellow card on Potsdam in the 75th minute, two impressive shots by both Matt Menendez ’20 and Austin Betterly ’21 were narrowly blocked by Potsdam goalie Jakeb Mitchell. This changed when, following a foul by Potsdam in their own goal, Michael Harten ’21 set up the shot off a corner kick. Forward Trevor Bisson ’21 followed up by scoring his second goal of the season with a fantastic header, sailing past Potsdam’s goalie into the top right corner of the goal. This goal brought the Engineers to a confident 2–0 lead.

This 2–0 lead seemed to exasperate the desperation in Potsdam’s play. The Bears went on the offensive and made a total of three shots on the goal in the second half. Nothing got past the Engineers’ defensive line—particularly goalie Ryan Nealon ’18, who had a magnificent save off a header in the last three minutes of the game.

The Engineers’ strategy of a dominating first half, coupled with a calm and calculated second half, allowed them to close out the game with a clean sheet, outshooting SUNY Potsdam nine to three.

RPI will be away this weekend when they start Liberty League play against Bard College on Saturday, September 23 at 2 pm.