Mark Provost, a senior Midfielder and Captain, scored in the 66th minute off a right-footed laser from just inside the box. His goal was enough to beat No. 20 RPI at home in the Liberty League Championship. With Saturday’s win, the St. Lawrence Men’s Soccer program has now captured back-to-back Liberty League titles, along with clinching a coveted automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Saints came ready to play on Saturday, and it was evident from the opening whistle. Thirteen seconds into the game, senior Jeremiah Bunton forced RPI goalie Rob Dewald to record his first save of the contest. The Saints kept up the offensive tempo, outshooting RPI 8-2 in the first half. Head Coach Bob Durocher said, “I was pleased going in because I saw a different level from our guys I haven’t seen this year… The pace and the way we attacked from the start…” Despite the relentless onslaught of St. Lawrence’s attacks, the score remained level at zero going into halftime.
Early into the second half, it was RPI who went on the offensive. The Saints benefitted from superb goalkeeping from sophomore Sean Houston. He made a world-class, point-blank save that robbed RPI from scoring in the 49th minute. Houston finished with four saves and a shutout. After benefitting from a bit of brilliance from Houston, juniors Daniel Hunt and Harry Copeland were able to settle things down and re-establish St. Lawrence control over the game. A starter at right back, Hunt is a dynamic defensemen who combines excellent tackling ability with scrappy physical play, along with speed that makes him an offensive threat when the opportunity presents itself. A standout at center back, Copeland is an intimidating physical presence at 6-5, 210 lbs. who utilizes his size to dominate any ball in the air and create mismatches and confusion during offensive set pieces.
Back in rhythm, senior Austin Roney was able to spearhead the attack that led to the 66th minute goal. After receiving an excellent up field pass from sophomore Midfielder Rob Brandell, Roney aggressively took on RPI defender Paul Lentine. After some fancy footwork, Roney blew past Lentine and found his teammate Mark Provost unmarked for the lone goal of the competition.