No. 20 RPI Defeats MIT, 15-11

Mitch Turley
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 20 RPI 15, MIT 11

- Records: MIT (6-5); RPI (10-2)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium)

- The Lead: A pair of runs helped nationally-ranked No. 20 RPI secure a 15-11 victory over MIT in non-conference men's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon. Senior Mitch Turley (Westfield, Ind.) paced MIT with three goals and two assists while Zach Lukas and Cliff Kigar both recorded two goals and three assists for RPI.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- RPI opened the game with four consecutive goals starting with Lukas setting up Robby Gale's tally at the 9:24 mark. Lukas later bookended the run on a man-up strike with 4:44 on the clock, giving Kigar his second straight assist. Exactly 19 seconds later, freshman Mark Heatzig (Boca Raton, Fla.) put the hosts on the board.

- The visitors increased their lead to 5-1 courtesy of Will Killeen's goal after 1:34 elapsed in the second stanza. MIT replied with a three-goal spurt which featured blasts by sophomore Jack Strachan (Moresville, N.C.) and senior Graham Davis (Crofton, Md.) that were set up by sophomore Jonathan Monahemi (Great Neck, N.Y.). The host Engineers narrowed the gap to 5-4 following a man-up goal by freshman Gavin Vandenberg (Elmhurst, Ill.) but RPI quickly countered with a blast by Matthew Gilman. Heatzig cut MIT's deficit in half, however, RPI rattled off three goals to enter halftime with a 9-5 advantage.

- RPI carried the momentum into the third quarter as JT Kelly found the back of the net after 56 seconds expired while Kigar followed with a solo effort at the 11:29 mark. MIT chipped away at the lead, eventually coming within 11-8 with 4:52 left in the frame. Davis and Heatzig both registered man-up goals as freshman Nicholas Gianni (Henderson, Nev.) capped the burst with an unassisted tally.

- Like the opening quarter, RPI kicked off the final 15 minutes with four unanswered goals. Lukas scored on a pass by Kigar and then found Owen Putman for an extra-man goal. Gilman followed with back-to-back man-up strikes, both of which were assisted by Lucas Bastarache, resulting in a 15-8 advantage with 6:46 left to play. MIT wrapped up the scoring with a natural hat trick by Turley.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Heatzig finished with three goals and an assist as senior Christian Jamison (Huntington, N.Y.) posted five groundballs and three caused turnovers. Senior David Klee (East Greenbush, N.Y.) generated five groundballs while sophomore Jameson Kief (Plantsville, Conn.) produced three caused turnovers. Freshman Luke Gianni (Henderson, Nev.) won 12 of his 19 faceoff attempts and collected seven groundballs as junior goalie Victor Fink (Haverford, Pa.) totaled eight saves and six groundballs.

- Bastarache registered one goal, three assists, and six groundballs while Gilman notched three goals. Oliver Kaija was 11-of-26 in his faceoff attempts and scooped up five groundballs as Quinn Fettig had four groundballs. In net, Parker Smith picked up nine saves and five groundballs in 40 minutes of action while Brian Doughty closed out the game with six stops.

- MIT ended the day with advantages in shots (43-38) and faceoff wins (17-13). The hosts converted three of their four extra-man opportunities and were 14-of-19 in clearing attempts.

- RPI finished with a 38-37 edge in groundballs. The visitors were 4-of-4 in extra-man opportunities and 17-of-20 in clearing attempts.

- This was the first meeting between both programs since 1948.

UP NEXT:

- Both teams resume conference play on the road on Wednesday, April 18. MIT will travel to NEWMAC foe Emerson College for a 5:00 p.m. start while RPI will faceoff with Liberty League rival Union College at 4:00 p.m.

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