The Ithaca College men’s soccer team was defeated 2–1 by traveling Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Senior Day, Oct. 21, at Carp Wood Field. The Bombers now post a 7–6–2 record for the year.
The Engineers had an early look at goal in the seventh minute. Sophomore forward Austin Betterly’s streaking run down the flank was whipped into the Bombers’ box, but the ensuing shot was pulled wide.
Junior striker Nate Mansfield found himself free inside RPI’s area in the 15th minute. Mansfield’s snap header lifted just over the bar.
Mansfield would help set up the first goal of the game three minutes later, in the 18th minute. The junior’s long throw–in was misdirected by an Engineer defender for an own goal.
The Bombers rarely took their foot off the gas in the first half. Their relentless press put the Engineers under constant pressure and forced several turnovers.
The first half ended 1–0 in favor of the South Hill squad.
RPI came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, putting the Bombers’ backline under early pressure. Senior keeper Dan Hinckley made several big saves, including a sprawling fingertip save in the 47th minute.
The Engineers eventually found an equalizer a minute later, in the 48th minute. Freshman Trevor Bisson connected with a header off a corner by fellow first-year Cam Law. Bisson’s header floated over Hinckley to make the score 1–1.
The Engineers kept pushing in the 57th minute. Hinckley was forced to come out to smother sophomore Brandon Pirog who was in on a breakaway. Hinckley read the play well, in the end.
Sophomore Max Barish nearly put the Bombers ahead, slotting his shot into the back of RPI’s net. But Barish was ruled offside on the play.
The second half was widely contested by both sides, and at times was a chippy affair.
Barish was presented with another opportunity to score in the 81st minute, but his shot was deflected away by RPI keeper Matt LaBranche who stood tall.
Freshman Drew Cohn also had an opportunity to put the Bombers ahead two minutes later, in the 83th minute. Cohn’s header sailed inches over the bar.
The visitors fended off an onslaught of Bomber shots in the dying minutes of the game, leaving several Engineer defenders on the ground.
Junior Zack Lichtman dished a ball into the box in the 89th minute. His cross found the head of Mansfield, whose header just went over the bar.
The match ended 1–1 and was forced into overtime.
Things got testy in the seventh minute of the first period of extra time. A member of the Engineers’ coaching staff was shown a yellow, and later a red card for dissent.
Barish continued to threaten down the right side. His storming run in the third minute of the second period of extra time forced a corner. The ensuing corner was headed over the bar by senior captain Eric Hepler.
In heartbreaking fashion, RPI found the go-ahead goal with two minutes left in extra time. Sophomore Dylan Confair’s shot just squeaked past an outstretched Hinckley to give the visitors a massive win away from home.
The game concluded 2–1, and the home portion of the Bombers’ 2017 Liberty League season.
Ithaca is on the road for their final two pivotal league games. They will play Rochester Institute of Technology at 3 p.m. on Oct. 25 in Rochester, New York.