The nationally ranked #20 St. Lawrence University men's soccer team defeated RPI 3-0 in a Liberty League contest at Sandy MacAllaster Field on Friday evening. The Saints, who improve to 6-1-1 and 2-0 in the conference, remain unbeaten in their last seven games and will take on Union (9-0-1) tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm. Meanwhile, RPI moves to 5-4-0 on the season and will travel to Clarkson for an afternoon match tomorrow.
St. Lawrence sophomore Praveen Balakumaran, who made his first start of the season, gave the Saints their first goal of the game in the 14th minute. Senior captain Andrew Bednarsky gave a short pass to junior assistant captain Mark Provost at the top of the 18-yard box, who one-touched a hard shot to the left corner of the goal. RPI junior goalkeeper Rob Dewald made the initial diving stop, but Balakumaran snuck through the defensive line and put the rebound back on net. Dewald almost stopped the second shot with another diving save, but the ball rolled over the goal line to put the Saints up 1-0.
St. Lawrence was awarded a penalty kick eight minutes later when Seyefe Brouk was taken down by an RPI defender in the box. Bednarsky was chosen to take the kick and put it past Dewald for the Saints second goal of the game.
St. Lawrence controlled much of the possession in the first half and the Saints' defense limited RPI to just one shot. The Engineers' lone shot was on goal from Ryan Gracy from 30 yards out, but Costello made the save.
RPI's first opportunity to score came in the 56th minute. Senior Alex Dotseth pushed a pass inside the box to sophomore Esmir Hadzic, who hit a hard shot on goal but directly at Costello.
St. Lawrence scored its third goal of the game in the 60th minute off the counter attack after an RPI corner kick. After the Saints' defense cleared the ball out of their zone to Morgan Smith in the midfield, Smith carried the ball quickly upfield and then sent a perfect pass through the RPI back line to Jamal Samaroo. Samaroo raced his defender down the right side of the field and into the box, cut the ball back to his left foot, and put the ball past Dewald to put the Saints ahead 3-0.
RPI had another solid chance to score in the 64th minute when a through ball gave Hadzic an open shot on a challenging Costello. Hadzic's shot went past Costello, but St. Lawrence back Harry Copeland was there to clear the ball out of the zone and preserve the shutout.
The Saints held advantages in corners (7-3) and shots (10-3). Costello earned his sixth shutout of the year in making two saves in 90:00 minutes of play. Dewald made two saves in suffering the loss.