No. 3 RIT wins consecutive Liberty League conference title in overtime
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Junior Taylor Wisman scored with 2:28 to play in overtime, leading No. 3 RIT (16-2) to a 10-9 win against Clarkson (10-6) in the 2013 Liberty League championship on Sunday. The Tigers won their second Liberty League title in a row and earned the automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“I am very proud of our whole team,” RIT head coach Jake Coon said. “I am really happy for our seniors who go out having won four straight league championships.”
Wisman, named Co-MVP along with Elliot Cowburn, scored three of RIT’s last four goals including the game-tying and the game-winning goals. Cowburn was all over the field for RIT, grabbing six ground balls and causing three turnovers.
Wisman and Jack Krzyston led RIT with three goals apiece. Kyle Aquin scored two goals, while Allister Warren and Eddie Kiesa each had a goal and two assists for the Tigers, who advance to their 15th DIII tournament and fourth in as many years.
Pat Johnston picked up his sixteenth win in net for the Tigers, making 11 saves and earning All-Tournament team honors. Joe Dupra had two ground balls, two caused turnovers and saved a ball off the goal line late in the game. Tyler Brooks-Lambert won 9 of 14 faceoffs and had five ground balls, earning All-Tournament honors.
Brendon Shearin led Clarkson with five goals, earning All-Tournament honors. Ryan Cole was outstanding in net for the Golden Knights, making 14 saves and earning All-Tournament honors, while Brian Freeland had two caused turnovers and four ground balls, also earning All-Tournament honors. Corey Herrington had a goal and two assists for Clarkson, which fell to 10-6 on the season.
RIT trailed 5-2 at the half, 8-5 after three quarters, but rallied with four goals in the fourth quarter, tying the game at nine with 1:23 to play in regulation on Wisman’s third goal of the game.
“Credit goes to Clarkson,” Coon said. “They played a great game and Cole played extremely well.”
The play started when Clarkson tried scoring into an open net off a 10-man ride. Shearin had a shot, but Dupra stood in the goal and made the save. Wisman scooped up the loose ball, drove to the net and beat Cole with a good low shot, tying the game at nine. The goal was Wisman’s 100th career point at RIT.
“The guys showed tremendous character to win in overtime,” Coon said. “It shows how much we have matured from the beginning of the season to now.”
The Tigers won the ensuing face-off and had a chance inside the last minute to win the game in regulation, but Warren’s shot was wide of the mark sending the game into overtime.
RIT has now won 18 consecutive home games and are 42-3 at home since the start of the 2010 season. The Tigers have won four conference championships in a row, including consecutive Empire 8 titles (2010, 2011) and consecutive Liberty League titles (2012, 2013).
“We have to be ready for the NCAA tournament,” Coon said. “Our guys have to play a full 60 minutes to advance.”