ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The No. 11 Amherst College men's lacrosse team posted a 17-14 victory to knock off No. 2 Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Saturday afternoon's NCAA Division III Championship Second Round tilt at Tiger Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
With the win, Amherst (14-4) advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second consecutive season and third time in program history. The Purple & White will take on St. Lawrence University (17-2) Wednesday, May 18. RIT concludes its season 18-2 overall.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- The first period saw RIT net three of the first four goals as Kyle Sterzin scored first at the 9:24 mark, before Amherst's Evan Wolf '19 netted a man-up goal with 3:37 left in the first quarter to even the game at 1-1. Wolf's goal was assisted by Dylan Park '16.
- The Tigers then struck twice through Ryan Lee who received a pair of assists from Jay Vakiener to make it 3-1 after 15 minutes of action.
- In the second quarter, Amherst exploded for eight goals as Quinn Moroney '16 got the scoring started with an unassisted strike at the 13:50 mark.
- Steven Ricci answered for RIT, but back-to-back goals by Andrew Ford '19 (assisted by Charlie Gill '16) and Moroney made it 4-4 with 11:14 on the clock.
- Vakiener found Lee again to make it 5-4, before Moroney added his third strike. Kane Haffey '16 then notched the first of his five markers in the contest, and Jack Wolff '19 scored his first collegiate goal at the 6:26 mark to make it 7-5 in favor of the Purple & White.
- Goals by Sterzin bookending a goal by Park set the score 8-7, before Haffey added his second with nine ticks left in the half to make it 9-7 at intermission.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- The third quarter saw Amherst get off to a fast start as Haffey collected his third goal of the game to make it 10-7 just 45 seconds into play.
- RIT answered with three straight goals by Alec Sulesky, Braden Wallace (assisted by Vakiener) and Lee (assists by Sulesky) to knot the game at 10-10 with just 1:07 remaining in the third stanza.
- Ford then scored his second goal of the game with 52 seconds remaining in the period, and Park found the back of the net seconds later to give the Purple & White a 12-10 advantage heading to the fourth frame.
- Park and Sterzin exchanged goals early in the stanza, and Haffey added a man-up score from Moroney before Trevor Smyth responded for the Tigers to keep it a two-goal game at 14-12 with 9:03 remaining in the contest.
- Amherst extended its lead to 16-12 when Park found nylon for the fourth time, before Haffey slotted in his fifth goal of the game at the 5:56 mark.
- Less than a minute later, Chad Levick cut the RIT deficit to three goals (16-13) when he scored on a dish from Sterzin, but Gill answered for Amherst at the 3:32 mark when he received a nice pass from Michael Litner '16 to make it 17-13.
- Less than ten seconds later, Matt Hossack scored what proved to be the last goal of the game as the Purple & White held on for the thrilling, 17-14 upset victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Amherst goalie Thomas Gilligan '16 was terrific between the pipes, making 15 saves in the winning effort.
- Rob Butko '16 led all players with eight ground balls, while Ian Kadish was 20-for-33 in face offs and picked up six ground balls in the winning effort.
- RIT was led by Smyth who picked up eight ground balls, while Lee and Hossack finished with six each.
- Nick Nesbitt made seven saves and saw most of the action between the posts, while Jarryd Lee closed out the game in goal for the Tigers.