RIT Lacrosse heading to NCAA Quarterfinals after beating Stevens
ROCHESTER, NY -- The No. 1 RIT (20-0) men's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament Quarterfinal with a 17-9 win over No. 14 Stevens (18-3) Saturday evening under the lights at RIT Turf Field. The Tigers will face York College in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 16.
"I thought we played well tonight," said RIT head coach Jake Coon. "We have some little mistakes to clean up moving forward, but I thought we were very good in all phases of the game."
RIT, third highest scoring team in the Division III, recorded at least 17 goals in a game for the 16th time this season. RIT's man-up unit, which entered the game tops in the country, converting 61.8 percent, went 4-of-7. Shots were 42-35 in favor of RIT. The Tigers held a 39-18 ground ball edge and cleared the ball 22-of-27 times. RIT reached 350 goals in a season for the second consecutive season and third time in the last four years
Aidan Milburn (Vancouver, British Columbia/Sentinel Secondary) led RIT with five goals, while Ryan Tandy (Montrose, NY/Hendrick-Hudson) added a goal and three assists. Quinn Commandant (Rockwood, Ontario/The Kiski School) tallied three goals and Kyle Killen (Peterborough, Ontario/Crestwood Secondary), Ryan Barnable (Whitby, Ontario/Donald A. Wilson) and Jay Vakiener (Fairport, NY/Fairport) each had a goal and two assists. Cam Isaac (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas) tallied a goal and assist. Issac's goal gave him 25 on the season, making him the sixth Tiger to reach that number this season. Nate Farrell (Whitesboro, NY/Whitesboro) won 20-of-24 face-offs and had five ground balls. Alex Maruna (Medina, OH/St. Ignatius) and Joey Menecola (Toronto, Ontario/Michael Power Catholic) each caused two turnovers. Walker Hare (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) improved to 20-0 on the season, making eight saves.
Eric Radbourne led Stevens with four goals. Max Bailey and Tommy Dawson each had a goal and two assist for the Ducks, while Carson White took the loss in net, making 12 saves.
RIT led 7-2 after the first quarter. Vakiener, Beau Riley (Homer, NY/Homer) and Commandant gave RIT a 3-0 lead on their goals within the first five minutes. After John Boutureira answered for Stevens, cutting the RIT lead to 3-1, goals from Isaac, Killen and two from Commandant to finish the quarter gave the Tigers a five-goal cushion.
Milburn scored two goals to open the second quarter, increasing RIT's lead to 9-2 on his goal off an assist from Killen. Radbourne cut the Tigers lead to 9-3, but goals from Tandy and Milburn gave RIT an 11-3 lead late in the half. Brendan Monteleone scored with 3:58 to play in the quarter to cut RIT's lead to 11-4, which would be the score at halftime.
Radbourne cut the RIT lead to 11-5 on his goal to open the third quarter off an assist from Bailey. Nally and Milburn scored two straight man-up goals by RIT, giving the Tigers a 13-5 lead on Milburn's goal with 4:47 remaining in the quarter. Goals from Tommy Dawson and Ryan Gebhardt gave the Ducks a little momentum heading into the fourth quarter, cutting the Tigers lead to 13-7.
RIT responded with three straight goals to open the fourth quarter, taking a 16-7 lead on Barnable's goal off an assist from Tandy at the nine minute mark of the quarter. Nally and Milburn also scored in the run. After a Radbourne goal made the score 16-8, Brendan MacDonald (Georgetown, Ontario/Trinity-Pawling) tallied with 2:10 remaining to give RIT a 17-8 lead.
RIT is making its ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 20th overall. The Tigers are now 26-19 all-time in the national tournament and 20-8 since Coon took over in 2010. The Tigers have now recorded a win streak of 20 or more games for the third time in the last five seasons.
RIT is now 7-1 all-time versus Stevens. Before tonight, the two teams last met in 2011 when RIT was a member of the Empire 8.
The Tigers and Wednesday's opponent, York, have met just once with RIT pulling out a 12-9 win in Orlando, Florida in 2009.