Friday, January 24, 2014

Homeward Bound

The men return to Houston Field House for their first competitive action in over a month tonight. The women would like to put themselves on a path to potentially be there at the end of February and into March.

Dartmouth is their common enemy tonight, and it's an important game for both teams.

Ladies first. The Engineers are alone in 6th place coming into tonight's game, and regardless of what else happens tonight, they can guarantee themselves 5th place by themselves heading into Saturday with a victory over the Big Green.

If we posit that A) the top three teams in the ECAC are #4 Cornell, #5 Harvard, and #6 Clarkson, teams that will be hard to take (further) points from, B) those teams probably going to be 1/2/3 in the ECAC at the end of the season, and C) that no team wants to play them on the road in a best-of-3 series, it stands to reason that the Engineers should be seeking that 4 spot, and if they can't land that, 5 will have to do.

Further pointing out that RPI has no games remaining against the current 4 and 5, Quinnipiac and Princeton respectively, that leaves the Engineers' most key games for points being games against teams behind them in the standings - and that starts tonight with Dartmouth. RPI already got two big points against Harvard earlier this year, but any points they can manage on Saturday are like gold. Two points tonight against Dartmouth would be more key overall, especially since the Engineers left the points on the table against the Big Green back in Troy.

We've already chronicled the men's struggles. Bottom line here is that their next game is their most important one on the schedule for here on out. Worry about Union and that whole mess tomorrow. Win today. The Engineers lost ground last week as teams played their games in hand over RPI, and that will continue to happen tomorrow unless the Tute can shore itself up now with points. Dartmouth's season may be going worse than RPI's, to be frank. There's only room for one hurting team in Troy tonight and that's going to have to be Dartmouth if RPI is going to resurrect their season.

So without further ado... we're coming home.

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