Top-Ranked RIT Upended by Tufts in Division III Semifinals

ROCHESTER, NY The No. 1 RIT (20-1) lacrosse team had its season ended on Sunday in the NCAA Division III semifinals, losing to No. 6 Tufts 21-11 in front of 2,318 fans from Tiger Stadium on the campus of RIT. The Jumbos advance to the National Championship to face the winner between Salisbury and Washington College from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

RIT is now 1-3 all time versus Tufts. It is the fourth straight season the Tigers and Jumbos met in the NCAA Tournament. In 2011, Tufts ended RIT's undefeated 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.

"Tufts has so much firepower and it showed today," said RIT head coach Jake Coon, who is 88-14 in five seasons at RIT. "Their goaltender made some great saves early on that changed the momentum, and we couldn't make a run."

Tufts outshot RIT 51-47. RIT won the ground ball battle 52-45 and were 17 of 20 on clearing attempts. Each team won 18 of 36 face-offs, and went 4 of 7 on man-up chances, while Tufts finished with one goal on four man-up chances.

Casey Jackson (Victoria, BC/Claremont) led RIT with five points on three goals and two assists, while Allister Warren (Toronto, Ontario/Malvern Collegiate Institute) finished with three goals. Ryan Lee (Sharon, Ontario/The Hill Academy) added a pair of goals and Pat Johnston (Long Beach, CA/Norwell (MA)) took the loss in net, making 15 saves. Tyler Brooks-Lambert (Seneca Castle, NY/Midlakes) won 17 of 33 face-offs and had 10 ground balls. Matt Hossack (Port Perry, Ontario/Port Perry) caused five turnovers and had five ground balls.

Beau Wood led Tufts with eight points on seven goals and an assist. Cole Bailey added five goals, while John Uppgren and Bend Andreycak each had three goals. Patton Watkins was brilliant in net for Tufts, making 20 saves.

RIT jumped out to a 4-2 lead at 1:54 of the first quarter when Alex Sulesky took a feed from Jackson and scored his seventh of the season. Warren, Lee and Aquin each had goals in the early stages of the quarter.

The Jumbos scored two straight in the final 1:10 of the first quarter, tying the score at 4-4 on Uppgren's 61st goal of the season with 14 seconds to play in the opening quarter.

Tufts took the momentum into the second quarter, taking a 5-4 lead on Bailey's 48th goal of the season.

Aquin and Jackson hooked up for a man-up goal at 11:30 of the second quarter, as Jackson fed Aquin on the doorstep, tying the score at 5-5.

After a Bailey goals made it 6-6, Jackson scored off a fast break, taking a feed from Hossack and burying his second goal of the game, tying the score at 6-6.

Tufts took control of the game from there, closing out the first half with four straight goals, taking a 10-6 lead into halftime. Bailey scored twice and Woods and Peter Bowers each scored another for the Jumbos.

Wood opened the third quarter scoring with his third goal of the game and 68th of the season, giving the Jumbos its largest lead of the game at 11-6.

Aquin took a feed from Warren at 12:05 of the third quarter breaking the Tufts run, cutting the Jumbos lead to 11-6.

Braden Wallace (Oakville, Ontario/Abbey Park) and Jackson added goals for the Tigers, but the Tufts' offense was clicking, as Bailey and Wood closed out the quarter with consecutive goals, giving the Jumbos a 15-9 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

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