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RIT Cruises Into D-3 Quarterfinals

Big second half surge carries Tigers past Cabrini
For the fourth straight season, the RIT (17-2) men's lacrosse team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship with a 22-13 win over Cabrini College (15-4) in the second round on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. RIT, ranked third in Division III, has now won 11 straight games and halted No. 5 Cabrini's 12-game winning streak.

The Tigers outscored the Cavaliers 15-7 in the second half, advancing to the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season where RIT will face Tufts University for the third straight season on Wednesday, May 15 at Tiger Stadium.

"I am so proud how we battled through a tough first half," said RIT Head Coach Jake Coon. "They (Cabrini) are a great team, and we needed a complete team effort to advance, and we got it today."

Sophomore Kyle Aquin (Hamilton, Ontario/St. Jean De Brebeuf) led RIT with a career-high six goals, while Eddie Kiesa (Syracuse, NY/Jamesville-Dewitt) had a career-high eight points on four goals and four assists. Jack Krzyston (Bedford, NH/Bishop Guertin), Taylor Wisman (Seattle, WA/Inglemoor), and Alec Sulesky (Medina, OH/Medina) each had three goals for the Tigers, who set a record for most goals scored in a NCAA Tournament game with 22. Allister Warren (Toronto, Ontario/Malvern Collegiate Institute) and Braden Wallace (Oakville, Ontario/Abbey Park) each had two assists, and Pat Johnston (Norwell, MA/Norwell) picked up the win in net for RIT, making eight saves.

Anthony DiSanzo led Cabrini with six goals. Corey Elmer tallied four points on two goals and two assists, while Bobby Thorp had a goal and an assist for the Cavaliers who finish their season with a 15-4 record. Freshman goalie Chris Treat took the loss in net, making 11 saves.

Shots were 45-33 in favor of RIT, while ground balls were 47-36 in favor of the Tigers. RIT won 23-of-38 face-offs led by junior Tyler Brooks-Lambert (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) who won 17-of-27 draws and recorded 13 ground balls. RIT's man-up unit, first in all of Division III, went 2-for-2 on the day and is now 42-of-72 (58.3%) on the season.

Cabrini led 4-3 after the first quarter as Damian Sobieski, Elmer, DiSanzo and Ethan Heisman each scored for the Cavaliers. Kiesa had two of RIT's three goals in the opening quarter, giving RIT a 3-2 lead. But, goals by Heisman and DiSanzo to close out the quarter gave Cabrini the one-goal edge.

DiSanzo opened the second quarter scoring tallying at the 10:46 mark off an assist from Elmer giving the Cavaliers a 5-3 lead.

Two straight man-up goals pulled RIT even at 5-5. Aquin scored his 49th goal of the season with 9:45 to play to make it 5-4. That was Aquin's 17th man-up goal of the season, breaking the school record of 16 set by Tom Kraft in 1988. Krzyston tied the score with 8:50 to play in the first half on his 44th tally of the season.

Matt Biegel answered right back for Cabrini scoring a man-up goal off an assist from Elmer with 7:09 to play in the first half, giving Cabrini a 6-5 lead.

Goals by Sulesky and Luke Wolfe (Buffalo, NY/Williamsville North) to close out the half, gave RIT a 7-6 halftime lead.

Cabrini opened the second half with consecutive goals by DiSanzo and Hiesman, giving the Cavaliers an 8-7 lead with 14:28 to play in the third quarter.

RIT would take control of the game from that point onward, rattling off six straight goals. RIT would go on to outscore Cabrini 12-1 over the next 16:08 to put the game out of reach.

"Winning face-offs was a big factor in our run in the second half," said Coon. "(Tyler) Brooks-Lambert, (Matt) Hossack and (Mac) Keehfus were all sharp for us at the face-off "X", getting to the loose balls and getting us into our offense."

Wisman, Sulesky, Krzyton, and Aquin each had goals in the six-goal outburst by the Tigers, with Aquin and Wisman each having a pair in that stretch.

Wisman's 25th goal of the season with 3:14 to play in the third quarter gave RIT a five-goal edge, 13-8.

Thorp scored for Cabrini off an assist from Anthony DiNenno with 3:07 to play in the third, stopping the RIT run momentarily and cutting the Tigers lead to 13-9.

Aquin scored his fourth of the game with three minutes to play in the third to make it 14-9 RIT heading into the fourth quarter.

The run continued into the fourth quarter as RIT scored the first five goals of the quarter, taking a 19-9 lead on Kiesa's fourth of the game off an assist from Braden Wallace (Oakville, Ontario/Abbey Park) with 10:08 to play.

Sulesky, Krzyston and Zack Thompson (Orangeville, Ontario/Culver Academy) each scored in the latter stages of the fourth to make it a 22-13 final.

RIT's 17 wins are the second most in one season in program history, just behind the 19, won by the 2011 squad that advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals. RIT is 66-12 under Head Coach Jake Coon, now in his fourth season with the squad. The Tigers now have five players (Kryston, Kiesa, Aquin, Warren, and Wisman) with at least 50 points this season. 

Today's contest was the first meeting between the two schools. RIT is 12-14 all-time in 15 different trips to the NCAA Tournament.

RIT will face Tufts for the third consecutive season in the NCAA Tournament. In 2011, the Jumbos beat RIT 16-12 in the national semifinals on RIT's Turf Field. Last year, RIT fell to Tufts 15-13 in Medford, Massachusetts in the quarterfinals.
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