RIT advances to national semifinals
Tigers keep perfect record in tact, improve to 19-0
ROCHESTER, NY -- For the first time since 1999 and fifth time in program history, the RIT Tigers advanced to the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament Semifinals after a 15-10 win over Amherst in the quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon at the RIT Turf Field.
"I thought we played with much more poise and confidence today," said RIT Head Coach Jake Coon. "Our seniors stepped up and led the way for us."
The Tigers, undefeated at 19-0 and ranked second in Division III, will face defending national champion Tufts University (17-2) on Sunday, May 22 at RIT. The winner will advance to the National Championship game on May 29 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
RIT jumped out to a 3-2 lead after the first quarter and led 7-5 at the half. Senior midfielder Jordan MacIntosh, who led RIT with a career-high eight points on five goals and three assists, scored with 0.3 seconds on the clock in the second quarter to give the Tigers a two-goal lead.
The Tigers opened the second half with five goals in the third quarter, while holding Amherst to two tallies. Iric Bressler and Jordan Collins-Hartwig each scored two goals in the quarter. Bressler and MacIntosh each had two assists in the quarter.
"I thought our offense stepped up today, particularly in the second half" said Coon. "They were much more sharp and stuck their shots."
RIT added three more in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as seven goals to advance to the national semifinals.
Senior goaltender Bob Tonnessen was outstanding in net for the Tigers allowing 10 goals and making 14 saves. He improves to 19-0 on the season and the win was the 34th of his career.
"I thought Bob played pretty well," said Coon. "He made some big saves, especially in the first half that kept us in the game."
Bresser had two goals and tied his career-high with six assists. He has 12 assists in the last two games, dishing six versus Denison in the second round.
Collins-Hartwig had two goals and three assists, while Chris Cherami (Olwick, NJ/Seton Hall Prep) and Kelso Davis each tallied two goals.
Tyler Russellhad a goal and an assist and MJ Kiekebelt tallied a goal, while causing four turnovers and grabbing five ground balls.
Cole Cherney led Amherst with four goals. Evan Redwood had two goals and two assists for the Lord Jeffs who finish their season with a 15-3 record.
Sam Jakimo took the loss allowing 15 goals and making three saves.
Amherst outshot RIT 44-32 and won the ground ball battle 41-31. The Tigers won 11-of-28 face-offs and were 19-of-22 on clearing attempts. RIT went 2-for-4 on man-up, while Amherst was 3-for-4.
"I'm happy we won," said Coon. "But we didn't play our best and there is definite room for improvement."
RIT will face Tufts in the semifinals for the first time in program history.