Johnston Saves 24 as No. 1 RIT Defeats Union to Advance

ROCHESTER, NY No. 1 RIT (20-0) advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the second straight straight season with an 11-6 win over #9 Union in Wednesday's NCAA quarterfinal at Tiger Stadium.

RIT will play Tufts this weekend in the semifinals at RIT. It is the fourth straight season the Tigers have faced the Jumbos in the NCAA Tournament. In 2011, Tufts ended RIT's season with a 16-12 win in the national semifinals on RIT's Turf Field. In 2012, Tufts defeated RIT, 15-13 in the quarterfinals. Last year, The Tigers defeated the Jumbos by a score of 14-5 in the quarterfinals from Tiger Stadium. The winner advances to the National Championship Game on Sunday, May 25 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD.

With today's win, RIT set a new single-season mark with 20 victories. RIT won 19 games in 2011 and 2013. The Tigers now have 336 goals in 20 contests, averaging 16.8 per contest.

Union outshot RIT 50-43. RIT won the ground ball battle 38-35 and were 24 of 25 on clearing attempts. RIT won just 9 of 20 face-offs, and went 1 of 3 on man-up chances, while Union finished with four goals on eight man-up chances.

Junior goalie Pat Johnston (Long Beach, CA/Norwell, MA) was outstanding in net for the Tigers, making a career-high 24 saves. It was the most saves for a RIT goalie since Chris James made 32 saves versus Nazareth in 2001.

"(Pat) Johnston was awesome today," said RIT head coach Jake Coon, who improved to 88-13 in five seasons. "He made some huge saves that gave our team a lot of confidence."

Four different Tigers scored two goals, led by Casey Jackson (Victoria, BC/Claremont) and Kyle Aquin (Hamilton, Ontario/St. Jean De Brebeuf) who each had two goals and an assist. Jack Krzyston (Bedford, NH/Bishop Guertin) and Eddie Kiesa (Syracuse, NY/Jamesville-Dewitt) each had two goals.

Matt Hossack (Port Perry, Ontario/Port Perry) had a goal and an assist to go along with six ground balls and three caused turnovers. Allister Warren (Toronto, Ontario/Malvern Collegiate Institute) and Alec Sulesky (Medina, OH/Medina) each scored, and Mac Keehfus (Jamesville, NY/Jamesville-Dewitt) dished out an assist.

RIT scored 10 or more goals in a game for the 19th time this. RIT is averaging 16.8 goals per game in 2014.

Tyler Brooks-Lambert (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) went 9 of 20 on face-offs, with seven ground balls. Sophomore defenseman Jay Krzyston (Bedford, NH/Bishop Guertin) caused two turnovers, while Keehfus and Brad Gillies (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) each had three ground balls.

RIT jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first quarter on goals from Krzyston, Sulesky, Kiesa and Hossack. Krzyston gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead on his 21st goal of the season. He scooped up a loose ball in front of the Union net and scored in the open net. Sulesky scored off a feed from Hossack at 7:27, making it 2-0 RIT. Kiesa sung around and scored at 3:40, and Hossack scored off a feed from Keehfus at 3:26.

The Tigers scored the first three goals of the second quarter, taking an 8-0 lead on a goal by Warren off a feed from Jackson. Jackson opened the scoring in the second quarter, scoring off a pass from Aquin. He made it 6-0 RIT on his 40th tally of the season off a feed from Sterzin at 10:25.

Union finally got on the scoreboard at 8:49 of the second quarter when Jonathan Andrews tallied off a feed from Richard Gregory. It was the longest scoring drought of the season for the Dutchmen.

Charlie Ross made it 7-2 RIT with his 20th goal of the season at 5:39 off another feed from Gregory.

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