May 6, 2012

DeLeo Leads RIT Over Union

from press release

ROCHESTER, N.Y.
- In it's first year in the the Liberty League, the No. 7 RIT (13-2) men's lacrosse team won the 2012 title with an 8-6 win over No. 11 Union College (11-4) in the championship game from a sunny RIT Field on Sunday. With the win, the Tigers earn the automatic bid into the NCAA Div. III Tournament. Sophomore goalie Anthony DeLeo (Canandaigua, NY/Canandaigua Academy) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, making 12 stops in the champinship on Sunday.

The win on Sunday is the third straigh win for RIT in a conference champipnship game. The Tigers won the Empire 8 title in 2010 and 2011 before making the jump to the Liberty league in 2012 and winning the title.

2012 Liberty League Player of the Year Tyler Russell (Livonia, NY/Livonia) led RIT with three goals on Sunday, earning All-Tournament team honors. All-Tournament eam selection, Kyle Aquin (Hamilton, Ontario/St. Jean De Brebeuf) scored two goals, while A.J. Tingle (Cary, NC/Green Hope) had a goal, two assists and had six ground balls. Allister Warren (Toronto, Ontario/Malvern Collegiate Institute) had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Collins-Hartwig (Buffalo, NY/Clarence) scored a goal.

DeLeo allowed six goals and made 12 saves, including three straight with seven minutes to play in the third quarter to keep the Dutchmen at bay. His diving stop on a point-blank shot from Union's Ethan Meyer kept Union off the board after they had seized the momentum in the third quarter. DeLeo stopped 16 in a win over Clarkson in Friday's semifinals.

Junior Elliott Cowburn (Oakville, ON/Holy Trinity), an All-Tournament team selection, led a stout RIT defense, causing two turnovers and grabbing five ground balls. The Tigers caused nine turnovers on the day, led by Alex Crepinsek (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) who had three. He also grabbed five ground balls earning All-Tournament team honors.

Nolan Connors led Union with three points on two goals and an assist. Rob Santangelo had a goal and an assists, while Meyer chipped in with a goal. 2012 Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year, Sean Aaron took the loss in net, allowing eight goals and making 13 saves.

Union held a slight 35-32 shot advantage. RIT held a 30-29 ground ball edge, and were 19-of-22 on clears, while Union went 17-of-22. The Dutchmen won 11-of-18 faceoffs and went 2-for-3 with the man advantage.

Union got on the board first when Connors got by his defender and snuck a shot past DeLeo for a 1-0 Dutchmen lead at the 9:27 mark of the first quarter.

Aquin equalizied for the TIgers at the 3:27 mark of the opening quarter, beating his defender and firing a shot past Aaron for his 13th goal of the season.

Russell took a feed from Tingle :55 seconds into the second quarter to give RIT a 2-1 lead. For Russell, it was his team-leading 41st goal of the season.

Aquin scored his second of the game and 14th of the season, at 11:12 of the second to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

Russell and Tingle hooked up again at 9:43 to increase RIT's lead to 4-1.

Warren capped off the three-goal run by the Tigers with his first of the day off an assist from Taylor Wisman (Seattle, WA/Inglemoor) at 5:43 of the second to give RIT a 5-1 lead.

Meyer stopped the Tigers run with an unassisted goal with 1:46 to play in the half, cutting RIT's lead to 5-2 at the half.

Ted McKenna opened the second half scoring, tallying his 26th goal of the season off an assist from Connors, cutting RIT's lead to two goals at 5-3.

Collins-Hartwig fired a bounce shot that beat Aaron over his right shoulder for his 23rd goal of the season, giving RIT a 6-3 lead with 5:59 to play in the third quarter.

DeLeo was brilliant in the third quarter, making four saves in the quarter, including three straight from in close to keep the lead for the Tigers.

Tingle scored his first of the day off an assist from Russell at 13:32 of the fourth quarter, capping off a nice fast break by the Tigers, increasing their lead to 7-3.

Consecutive Union man-up goals from Adam Rosenthal and Santengelo, cut the Tigers lead to 7-5 with 11:36 to play in regulation.

Russell scored his third of the game and 43rd of the season off an assist from Ryan Speciale (Painted Post, NY/Corning West) with 10:09 to play, increasing the lead back to three goals at 8-5.

The Dutchmen cut it back down to two goals with 8:48 to play on Connors' 20th goal of the season.

RIT was able to kill off the last 8:48 to secure the win and their first Liberty League championship.

The Tigers await their opponent in the 2012 NCAA Div. III Men's Lacrosse Championship, which will be announced on Sunday evening, May 6 at 10 pm. You can watch the selection show online at www.ncaasport.com.

It will be the 14th trip by the TIgers in the NCAA Tournament and third straight. Last year, RIT lost to Tufts in the National Semifinals, 16-12.

2012 Liberty League All-Tournament Team
Drake Paul - St. Lawrence
Ryan Cole - Clarkson
Nolan Connors - Union
Rob Santangelo - Union
Matt Livingston - Union
Tyler Russell - RIT
Kyle Aquin - RIT
Elliott Cowburn - RIT
Anthony DeLeo - RIT (Tournament's Most Outstanding Player)


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