Kevin Beattie, Associate Athletic Director
Engineers chosen to win the Liberty League title again
TROY, NY – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) soccer team will be led by five student-athletes who will serve as captains. they are graduate students joseph cohen, joe deptula Y Amaechi Konkwo as well as older people Peter Lombardi Y Thomas Olausen. This is the third consecutive year in that position for Konkwo and the first for the others.
It was also revealed that RPI has been selected to finish first at Liberty Liberty, based on the pre-season coaches poll. The Engineers, ranked No. 20 in D3football.com’s preseason poll, won the title last season, earning the conference’s automatic bid for the NCAA Playoffs. They received four of the seven first place votes and 33 points overall, three points ahead of Ithaca College and seven ahead of Hobart College.
The Rensselaer captains represent both defense and offense with Cohen (defensive line), Deptula (linebacker), and Konkwo (defensive line) on one side and Lombardi (space receiver) and Olausen (offensive line) on the other. Four of them were honored in the All-Liberty League in 2021, while Konkwo missed the season due to injury.
Cohen (Wellesley, MA/Wellesley) has played 33 career games with 94 tackles, including 37 unassisted. He has had 11.5 tackles for losing yards (48) and 5.5 sacks (33 losing yards) with two forced fumbles, one interception, one pass breakup and one blocked kick. He was a D3football.com National All-American and All-Conference First Team selection last season and was listed as a Preseason All-American by D3football.com this year.
Also a preseason All-American, Deptula (Watertown, CT/Watertown) has played in 32 games over three seasons, totaling 57 solo tackles and 60 assists. Fifteen of his stops have been behind the line of scrimmage (55 yards) and four have been sacks for a 30-yard loss. Deptula has five interrupted passes, three forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, one interception and one fumble recovery in his time with the Engineers. He was a first-team All-Liberty League senior.
The first three-year captain since 1888-90 (C. Arosemena), Konkwo (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) has played 34 games, recording 78 tackles (35 solo). He has 20.5 tackles for losing yards (101) and 13.5 sacks (69 losing yards) with three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and two blocked kicks. He was the All-Liberty League first team in 2019, his most recent season. The team did not compete in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and suffered a season-ending injury in the 2021 preseason.
Lombardi (Stony Point, NY/Tabor Academy) was a first-team player in the league as an athlete and received honorable mention as a catcher last year. In 27 career contests, he has 114 receptions for 1,228 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed 31 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns and threw one pass. As a returner, Lombardi has 228 yards on 12 kickoffs and four yards on five punts.
The team’s center, Olausen (Middletown, NJ/Mater Dei Prep.) has played every game since arriving on campus in 2018. He has helped the Engineers average 25.6 points and 336 yards per game, including 123.58 by land. The team has scored at least 40 points in five contests. Olausen was the first All-Liberty League team last season when the Engineers tied the school record for wins in a season (11-2).
Rensselaer, which is led by Ralph Iserniaopens 2022 on Saturday at noon against Dickinson College at East Campus Stadium before hosting Carnegie Mellon University on September 10 at 1 p.m.