|Fourth year Electrical Engineering major Ryan Speciale carries the ball downfield during a 7-5 win over Clarkson University during the team’s first Liberty League game Saturday, March 24, at RIT Field.
It was obvious that Tiger fans were ready to bring the heat
during the Men’s Lacrosse Liberty League match against the
Clarkson University Golden Knights. Braving the cold and
rain-covered stands, Tiger spirit boomed as fourth-ranked
RIT defeated Clarkson with an iffy two point lead in what was the first
game of the season where the Tigers scored below 10 points.
The opening quarter face-off gave Clarkson possession of the ball
for the better half of the period. Opening with a vicious, yet futile
offensive play, Clarkson started off strong and quick. The Tigers’
defense stopped the Golden Knights in their tracks after third year
Marketing student Elliot Cowburn scooped up a ground ball, placing
the ball in RIT’s possession. Taking advantage of the moment, fourth
year Industrial Design major A.J. Tingle put RIT on the scoreboard
with the game’s first goal. After Clarkson suffered a penalty for having
too many players on the field, Tingle made the assist for RIT’s 2-0 lead.
By the end of the first quarter, RIT lead 3-0.
In the second quarter, both teams brought their “A” games. Clarkson’s
defense tightened, and once again possession belonged to them most
of the period. A slashing penalty was called on behalf of RIT towards
the end of the quarter. During the last minutes of the first half, Golden
Knight Brendon Shearin scored the first point for Clarkson and the
only goal of the second quarter.
With the score 3-1 in favor of the Tigers, RIT fans become restless
as the second half started off with a questionable call of unnecessary
roughness by fourth year Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
major Jordan Collins-Hartwig. Clarkson started off the quarter with
goal followed by a quick response by RIT, scoring their fourth point
mere seconds after Clarkson. While the Tigers tightly kept on the
Golden Knights, the defense across the field was loose, causing a spur
of “Defense! Defense!” uproars from RIT fans. Closing the gap two
point gap, Clarkson brought the score to 4-3. The two teams battled
for possession for the remainder of the quarter, with RIT retaining
constant possession for the first time in the game. The Tigers ended
the quarter with a final goal from first year Civil Engineering major
Brendan MacDonald — his second goal of the game.
Rounding up the game, Clarkson began the fourth quarter with a
goal. The crowd jeered as the referee made a few questionable calls,
including RIT’s repossession of a ground ball, before withholding the
ball from play by Clarkson. Though RIT initially regained possession
of the ball before the technical foul was called, possession was given
to Clarkson. After the call was made, the spirit of the riled up fans
reverberated through the stands as stomping feet met aluminum
stands and chants of “Tigers!” blasted through the air. Collins-
Hartwig widened the score gap by two with an assist from fourth year
Electrical Engineering major Ryan Speciale.
In the last five minutes of the game, RIT shoot another goal quickly
followed by a goal from Clarkson. In the game’s final minutes, Clarkson
made a fast play for the goal that was interrupted as the Tigers took
back the ball and owned it until the clock ran out. The game ended,
7-5, with the Tigers taking the number four spot in the Liberty League.
Currently, Men’s Lacrosse has gone undefeated with a season record of
5-0 and a Liberty League standing of 1-0.