#7 RPI Escapes with a 2-1 Victory over the Hawks

NEW PALTZ, NY- The SUNY New Paltz men’s soccer team hosted nationally ranked #7 Rensselaer Wednesday evening on the Turf Field. The Engineers were able to hold on to a 2-1 victory. Before the game head coach Eric Watson honored his two seniors who were playing in their final game, co-captain Anton Shipman (Howard Beach/Molloy) and Harper Jaroff (Old Westbury/The Wheatley School).

The Engineers scored just 1:19 into the game on Tom Kelly’s first assist of the season. Kelly’s corner found Brad Shelofsky for the header at the six yard box for his first goal of the season. The Engineers continued to control the game and in the ninth minute, Lincoln Field scored his sixth goal of the season on a penalty kick.

After falling behind 2-0, the Hawks took control of the game. In the 19th minute, Jimmy Altadonna (Massapequa/Massapequa) played a through ball to Dave Gardiner (Malta/Ballston Spa) whose shot was saved by the diving Engineer keeper. The deflection of the save fell to Altadonna whose shot hit the cross bar as RPI dodge a scoring opportunity by the Hawks. Seconds later, Nick DiPaola (Huntington/Huntington) cross from the right corner was covered up by Alex Penny to stop the Hawks attack.

RPI had a chance to increase the lead to three, but Tom Viscardi (Lake Ronkonkoma/Sachem North) made a great save on a shot from Jabel Prom 15 yards out.

In the 32nd minute, Gardiner had an opportunity to cut the RPI lead in half, but Penny made a diving save to his right on the low line drive shot. The Hawks outshot the Engineers 9-6 in the first half.

DiPaola pulled the Hawks within one at 2-1, when Lucas Natel (Mineola/Mineola) from midfield a played a ball over the defender to DiPaola. DiPaola’s shot from 25 yards out sailed over the Penny’s head into the top left corner for his fourth goal of the season; it was Natel’s fifth assist of the season.

With two minutes to go, DiPaola’s header off Jason Fancies’ (Ossining/Ossining) throw in with bobbled by Penny and was scooped up before Altadonna could get a touch on it. The Hawks outshot the Engineers 13-7 in the game.

Alex Penny made eight saves for his 11th win of the season. RPI improves to 12-1-2 overall and 4-1-1 in the Liberty League.

Tom Viscardi made three saves in net and falls to 2-5-1 in net. New Paltz finishes the season at 7-10-2 overall and 2-7-0 in the SUNYAC.