Nov. 14, 2009

Courtesy of Rensselaer Athletics

TROY, N.Y. - Senior Jabel Prom (Sandy Spring, MD/Sherwood) netted the game's lone goal as the 13th-ranked Rensselaer men's soccer team topped 20th-ranked Eastern Connecticut, 1-0, this afternoon in NCAA Tournament First Round action at Renwyck Field. With the win the Engineers improve to 14-2-2 overall, while the Warriors finish at 16-5-1.

RPI, which advances to the Second Round of the tournament for the first time since 1997, will face sixth-ranked Williams College tomorrow at Renwyck Field (1pm).

Prom redirected a pass from classmate Lincoln Field (Contoocook, NH/Hopkinton) into the right side-netting in the 49th minute, to give the host Engineers all the offense they needed. Fellow senior Sean Fleury (Princeton, MA/Wachusett Regional) sent in the initial ball from the left flank to Field who fed Prom right in front of the net.

Rensselaer junior goaltender Alex Penny (Northport, NY/Northport) made a number of key saves to preserve the win, including a point-blank shot attempt by Warriors' freshman Jon DeCasanova (Glastonbury, CT/Glastonbury), in the 63rd minute. 12 minutes later Penny came out to snare a dangerous ball at the top of the penalty area.

Field nearly made it a 2-0 game in the 79th minute, but his header off a Tom Kelly (Shrewbury, England/Shrewsbury) corner-kick was knocked down by Eastern Connecticut sophomore goalie Carl Appel (West Windsor, NJ/Notre Dame) and cleared.

Minutes later, Engineers' junior midfielder Blake Adams (Cedar Grove, NJ/Seton Hall Prep) got in behind Appel and the Warriors defense, before the ball was tackled off his foot at the last moment.

Penny, who finished with five saves to earn his 10th shutout of the season, made possibly his biggest save of the day in the 86th minute. Eastern Connecticut sophomore Aaron Smiles (Bedford, MA/Bedford) lofted a free kick from 40-yards out right to the head of freshman Tyler Edwardson (Ledyard/Ledyard), who's shot was stopped by a diving Penny.

Appel finished with three saves for the Warriors, who were outshot 11-9 in the game. Prom's tally was his seventh of the season.