No. 3 RIT Survives Rally by No. 1 Cortland, Wins in Overtime

CORTLAND, N.Y. Sophomore Allister Warren (Toronto, ON/Malvern) scored two minutes, five seconds into overtime as third-ranked RIT advanced to its first-ever NCAA Div. III national title game with a 10-9 win versus top-ranked Cortland Sunday afternoon at the Stadium Complex.

The Tigers, who dropped a 12-11 double-overtime game at Cortland earlier in the season, improved to 19-2 on the season and will play the winner of Salisbury at Stevenson in the national championship game next Sunday. The Red Dragons finished their season 19-1 after completing their second consecutive unbeaten regular season.

Junior Joe Slavik (Binghamton/Seton Catholic) led Cortland with three goals. Freshman Zach Hopps (Akwesasne/Massena) tallied a pair of goals, and junior Mike Cummings (Syracuse/East Syracuse Minoa), sophomores Patrick Brown (Camillus/West Genesee) and Billy Davis (Manhasset) and freshman James Stavrakis (Hillsborough, NJ) each netted a goal. Junior Cody Consul (Webster/Webster Schroeder) recorded three assists, while sophomore Mike Cantelli (Holmdel, NJ) and freshman Pat Baldwin (Alpharetta, GA) chipped in with one assist apiece.

Senior goalie Mike Kaminski (Sayville) stopped 10 shots and collected five ground balls for the Red Dragons. Baldwin registered four ground balls and junior Brian Winterfeldt (Merrick/Calhoun) caused two turnovers.

Seven different players scored at least a goal for the Tigers. Junior Jack Krzyston (Bedford, NH/Bishop Guertin) and sophomore Eddie Kiesa (Jamesville/Jamesville-DeWitt) led the offense with two goals and one assist each, and sophomore Kyle Aquin (Hamilton, ON/St. Jean De Brebeuf) also scored twice. Warren finished with one goal and one assist, while junior Tyler Brooks-Lambert (Seneca Castle/Midlakes) and freshmen Braden Wallace (Oakville, ON/Abbey Park) and Matt Hossack (Port Perry, ON) netted one goal apiece. Junior Taylor Wisman (Seattle, WA/Inglemoor) contributed three assists.

Sophomore goalie Pat Johnston (Norwell, MA) registered 10 saves and recorded an assist for RIT. Brooks-Lambert won 15 of 21 faceoffs and collected a game-high eight ground balls. Hossack forced three turnovers, and senior Elliott Cowburn (Oakville, ON/Holy Trinity) scooped up five ground balls.

The Tigers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead as Krzyston and Aquin scored at 14:26 and 13:43, respectively, in the opening quarter. Davis put Cortland on the scoreboard off a Consul feed at 6:56 and RIT led, 2-1, after the opening quarter. The teams went scoreless for more than nine minutes in the second quarter before RIT netted goals 30 seconds apart off the sticks of Wallace and Brooks-Lambert. The Tigers added to their lead with a score from Krzyston just eight seconds before the half for a 5-1 advantage.

Aquin and Hossack sandwiched goals around Slavik's first score of the game in the first five minutes of the third quarter and the Tigers held what seemed like a comfortable 7-2 lead. The Red Dragons, however, began to chip away at the lead. Slavik netted his second of the game at 6:26 of the quarter. Hopps followed with a goal at the 2:39 mark, and Stavrakis bounced in a shot at 1:23 to pull Cortland to within 7-5 at the end of three quarters.

Kiesa briefly gave the Tigers an 8-5 lead at 11:02 of the fourth quarter when he scored off an assist from Johnston, who had cleared the ball himself and fed a pass out from behind Cortland's cage. The Red Dragons then went on a three-goal binge, one each from Cummings, Brown and Slavik, in a span of 2:10 to even the score at 8-8 with 7:28 remaining. Kiesa stopped the run with his second of the game at 4:09, but Hopps scored the equalizer when he finished off a fast break at the 2:33 mark.

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