No. 7 RIT Edges No. 11 Union in Liberty Championship Game

ROCHESTER, NY -- In it's first year in the the Liberty League, No. 7 RIT (13-2) won the 2012 title with an 8-6 win over No. 11 Union (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.

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