---- — TROY — Senior Joey Kramer recorded five points to lead the Plattsburgh State men’s lacrosse team to a 7-5 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action from East Campus Stadium.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 1-0 on the season, while the Engineers drop to 0-2.
“Obviously, it was our first time out,” Plattsburgh coach Ryan Cavanaugh said. “We didn’t have any scrimmages before and RPI is a really good team, a quality program and we were nervous. Our first time out, you don’t really know what you’re going to get.”
Seniors Brett McClelland and Kramer scored goals 1:13 apart in the first quarter to give the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. Kramer also earned an assist on McClelland’s first of the year.
Rensselaer answered back at 5:38 of the opening frame, when sophomore Colin Fortuner stuck home an unassisted tally for his second of the season. Junior Mike Hicks then pulled the Engineers even at 2-2 with 41 seconds to go in the quarter.
McClelland netted his second of the contest – just 33 seconds into the second quarter – to regain a one-goal edge for the Cardinals, but RPI senior Eric Valero retaliated 2:15 later to knot the game at 3-3.
The game remained tied at the half, with RPI holding a 17-12 advantage in shots and a 21-17 edge in ground balls.
Plattsburgh State scored the first four goals of the second half, including two in the third quarter by Kramer and freshman Brendan Damm. Early fourth-quarter tallies from McClelland and Kramer pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 7-3 with 11:19 remaining in the game.
Valero then scored two straight times to pull the Engineers to within 7-5 with 2:19 to go but that was as close as RPI would get in Wednesday’s contest.
“The beginning of the game we had some breakdowns, offensively and defensively, but we coached through that and the guys worked hard through that,” Cavanaugh said. “We made some adjustments.
“It was certainly a battle of composure. Lacrosse is a game of momentum, and we were able to control momentum and control possession of ball.”
Kramer finished the day with three goals and a pair of assists. Sophomore Nick Parrella also picked up his first point of the season, earning an assist on Kramer’s third-quarter marker.
With a strong offensive effort in the second half, the Cardinals outshot the Engineers, 43-36, and finished the day with a 43-36 advantage in ground balls. Plattsburgh won 10 of the 16 face-offs, including six in the second half. The Cardinals went 0-for-3 in extra-man opportunities while RPI was 1-for-5.
Plattsburgh State senior netminder Gordie Gehring made eight saves and collected two ground balls in picking up the win, while RPI junior Alex Castronovo had 10 stops to go along with three ground balls.
“That’s a team (RPI) that last year I think was ranked ninth in the nation,” Cavanaugh said. “They’re down a little from last year, but still a quality program. It just shows how much our program has grown.
“It was a great team win.”
The Cardinals hit the road this weekend for two more non-conference games, starting with a matchup at Farmingdale State Friday at 3 p.m. Plattsburgh State wraps up the weekend trip on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game at Fairleigh Dickenson University – The College at Florham.
Plattsburgh 7, Rensselaer 5
Score by periods:
Plattsburgh 2 1 2 2 — 7
Rensselaer 2 1 0 2 — 5
Plattsburgh scoring- Kramer, 3 goals, 2 assists; McClelland, 3 goals; Damm, 1 goal; Parrella, 1 assist.
Rensselaer scoring- Valero, 3 goals; Fortuner, 1 goal; Hicks, 1 goal; Colligan, 1 assist; Crow, 1 assist; Overend, 1 assist.
Shots: Plattsburgh 35, Rensselaer 29.
Ground balls: Plattsburgh 43, Rensselaer 36.
Face-offs: Plattsburgh, 10-16; Rensselaer, 6-16.
Clears: Plattsburgh, 16-21; Rensselaer, 15-22.
Extra-man opportunities: Plattsburgh, 0-3; Rensselaer, 1-5.
Saves: Gehring, PSU, 8; Castronovo, Ren, 10.