Rudy! RPI Upends No. 11 Skidmore
from press release
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Wes Rudy scored a man-up goal with 2:12 to play in the second overtime to lead Rensselaer to a 13-12 Liberty League men's lacrosse semifinal win over Skidmore College at Wachenheim Field.
The fourth seed Engineers advance to Sunday's championship game at second seed Union College at 12 p.m. Union was a 9-8 winner over Clarkson.
Skidmore finishes with an 11-4 record, while RPI improves to 11-5.
The Engineers took a quick 3-0 lead on goals by Conor Chocheles, DevIn Arnold, and Paul DiLandro. Skidmore responded with a 4-0 run over two quarters with Matt Levesque scoring the first three and Mike Holden getting the fourth at 13:28 of the second for a 4-3 Thoroughbred lead.
Andrew Miller tied it with his 19th of the season from Liberty League Player of the Year Nick Billy at 11:01. Billy then set-up Chocheles for a man-up goal and 6-5 RPI lead at 6:18. Levesque tied it 5-5 at 2:20 from Bryan Connolly. Chocheles gave the Engineers a 6-5 lead heading into the intermission with his 25th of the season with :42 left.
The Thoroughbreds came out strong after the break with three straight to take an 8-6 lead. Jeremy Goldman started the run at 12:20 from Holden. Connolly set Holden up twice at 9:58 and 8:00 to complete the run. Grant Foulsham got one back for RPI at 7:01 from Miller, but Ben Cornell kept returned the lead to two, 9-7, with a goal from Connolly at 6:17.
The teams continued to trade goals with Rudy scoring his 20th of the season at 4:34 and Cornell getting his 23rd at 3:14 to give the Thoroughbreds a 10-8 lead after three quarters.
Matt Levesque gave Skidmore its largest lead, 11-8, opening the fourth quarter with his fifth of the game at 13:51. RPI regrouped and strung together four straight goals to regain the lead 12-11. Miller scored from Rudy at 13:14, Grant Foulsham scored at 12:00 and 11:04, and Billy scored his 31st of the season from Foulsham with 7:24 to play.
The Thoroughbreds forced OT when Levesque passed up on a shot to feed Connolly, who converted for his 14th of the season with :52 left in regulation.
Skidmore started the first OT with a 20 second man-up, but RPI goalie James Manchester came up big with one of his two overtime saves. The teams traded scoring opportunities in the final 1:16 with Thoroughbred goalie Connor Dowling and Manchester each stopping tough shots.
Skidmore had another man-up opportunity at 3:39 of the second OT, but a Thoroughbred penalty after a turnover, gave the Engineers a 28 second man-up chance. After an RPI time out, Rudy had his shot blocked, but Chocheles picked-up the ground ball. Miller quickly set-up Rudy who scored from the right side to end the game.
Levesque finished with five goals and an assist, Holden had three goals and an assist, and Connolly had a goal and four assists. Defenseman Michael Jennings had two ground balls and three caused turnovers. Ryan Paradis tied the Skidmore single-game ground ball record with 13 after winning 19 of 29 faceoffs.
Miller led RPI with two goals and four assists, while Foulsham had three goals and two assists. Chocheles finished with three goals and an assist to go along with five ground balls.
Skidmore had a slight 45-43 shot advantage. Dowling finished with 15 saves, nine of those in the first half. Manchester had 16 for RPI.
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