Spartans Stumble Against RPI

Spartans Stumble Against RPI

Castleton, Vt. - Castleton played even with RPI in the first half of Tuesday night's game, but suffered a second half letdown and fell 11-5 to the Engineers at Spartan Stadium.

RPI Freshman Patrick Finn finished with three goals and an assist, leading all scorers, while Zach Davidson led the Spartans with a goal and two assists.

The Spartans were outshot 40-27 on the night, as Eric Horsfield finished with eight saves in the first half. Peter Latulippe turned away three shots in the second half for the Spartans. RPI goalie James Manchester made four saves, earning the win.

RPI opened the game with a score 3:58 into the game. Patrick Finn notched an unassisted goal to put the Engineers up 1-0. The Spartans answered with a goal on the man advantage with 6:53 remaining in the first. Phil Patterson ripped a shot past Manchester to tie the game at 1-1. RPI would notch a second goal 53 seconds later, but Castleton finished the quarter with two consecutive goals from Spencer Hunt and Sam Bailey to take a 3-2 lead into the break.

In the second quarter, the Engineers answered with two consecutive goals of their own. Finn notched his second of the game 2:04 into the frame, and Brett Overend scored near that midway point of the quarter to put the Engineers up 4-3. With 5:25 remaining in the half, Zach Davidson scored his third goal of the season to even the score at 4-4 going into halftime.

RPI opened the second half with a 4-0 run, holding the Spartans scoreless throughout the third quarter. Wes Rudy, Colin Fortuner, and Finn each netted third quarter goals to give the Engineers a 7-4 lead going into the final frame.

In the fourth, Rudy added a second goal with 10:52 to play to put the Engineers up 8-4. With 7:07 left in the game, Will Stuhler scored over Manchester's left shoulder to bring the Spartans within three goals, but it was as close as Castleton would get to the Engineers. RPI rattled off three goals in the final three minutes as the Spartans pressed on defense, pushing the lead to 11-5.

The Spartans forced 17 turnovers and scooped 26 ground balls, and went 2-4 with a man advantage on the evening, but their second half scoring draught was their demise. With the loss, Castleton falls to 1-1 on the year. They will travel to Western Conn. St. on Saturday Mar. 9 for a 1 p.m. start.