Men's Lacrosse Ends Remarkable Season in NCAA Quarterfinals
Contact: Ben Badua
Cole Cherney '12 had four goals against RIT raising his NCAA Tournament total to a team-high 10
ROCHESTER, NY – Despite junior Cole Cherney’s (Chappaqua, NY) team-high four goals, Amherst could not overcome a 5-0 RIT second-half run over an 11:17 span in the third and fourth quarters as the Lord Jeffs fell to Rochester Institute of Technology 15-10 in an NCAA Quarterfinal game in Rochester, NY.
With the win, RIT improved to 19-0 overall on the season, advancing to a national semifinal match-up with Tufts University, while Amherst dropped to 15-3 on the year, wrapping up their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 mark.
RIT seniors Jordan MacIntosh and Iric Bressler led all scorers with eight points each. MacIntosh paved the way with five goals and three assists, while Bressler netted a pair of scores, collecting six asssts. Junior midfielder Jordan Collins-Hart finished with five points on two goals and three helpers, while seniors Chris Cherami and Kelso Davis each tallied a pair of goals. Senior long-stick MJ Kiekebelt chipped in with a goal and a team-high five ground balls and four caused turnovers, while junior attack Tyler Russell finished with two points on a goal and an assist. Senior goalkeeper Bob Tonnessen made 14 saves in the win.
Cherney paced the Amherst attack with four scores on 11 shots – bringing his tournament goal tally to 10, while junior Evan Redwood (Lutherville, MD) added two goals and two assists, closing out this year’s NCAA run with 11 points. Fellow junior Alex Fox (Garden City, NY), sophomore Jeff Izzo (Plandome, NY) and first-year Aaron Mathias (Ridgefield, CT) each got on the board, while first-year Devin Acton (Sudbury, MA) had a goal and an assist. Junior goalkeeper Sam Jakimo (Woodbury, NY) made three saves in the loss, while Duncan Morrissey (Ridgefield, CT) picked up a game-high 11 ground balls, going 16-for-27 from the ‘X’.
Amherst registered the game’s first three shots after winning the opening face-off, but Tonnessen made a pair of big saves during the span to keep things scoreless. Hoping to change the momentum, RIT quickly switched the field, finding the back of the Lord Jeffs’ goal on their first possession when Cherami ripped a high shot from the wing over Jakimo’s right shoulder.
Looking to rebound, Amherst drew the game’s first penalty at 10:37. Hoping to take advantage of the man-up opportunity, Redwood fired a hard shot at Tonnessen, who could not control the rebound. Finding himself at the right place at the right time, Cherney corralled the loose ball just in front of the net before sliding a shot into the right side of the RIT goal.
On another man-up advantage less than a minute later – this time by virtue of a tripping penalty at 9:27 – Redwood again beat out a pair of Tigers to a ground ball, burying his 26th goal of the year with just under nine to go in the first to give the Jeffs their first lead of the day.
Wasting no time, RIT quickly responded, netting the equalizer just 29 seconds after Redwood’s tally, as MacIntosh took a Collins-Hartwig pass on the break, finding himself alone on Jakimo before placing a shot into the right side of the Amherst netting. With just 5:03 remaining in the first, MacIntosh found an open Davis, as the duo combined for go-ahead goal that put the Tigers back on top 3-2.
Davis opened scoring in the second quarter, turning a Collins-Hartwig assist into a tally to extend the RIT cushion to two at the 11:41 mark. Trying to keep pace, Izzo answered just 1:02 later, making a quick move to his left before sneaking a shot just inside the near post to make it 4-3.
Cherami answered by whipping a waist-high shot from the right wing past Jakimo to once again make it a two-goal affair, but with under five left in the second, a hustling Redwood broke up a clear attempt at midfield, scooping up the loose ball before sending an outlet to Acton. The first-year attack made a nice run down the left side of the field, finishing the break with his 39th goal of the year.
After an Amherst penalty for an illegal body-check at 2:02, MacIntosh again found the back of the Jeffs’ net, collecting his second score off a Bressler helper at 1:20. Wanting to close out the half strong, Fox beat Tonnessen on a quick strike with 43 seconds left in the half. Getting another opportunity after a Morrissey face-off win, Acton registered another shot hoping to pull Amherst even, but Tonnessen made a big save, preserving the Tigers’ lead. Quickly going on the offensive, RIT raced into the offensive zone, as Bressler found a streaking MacIntosh, who snuck his third marker of the day into the Lord Jeffs’ goal with just 0.3 seconds before the horn.
MacIntosh picked up right where he left off coming out of the break, notching his fourth goal of the afternoon 3:05 into play. Mathias answered with his 17th score of the year, running down the right side before putting away a high shot at 9:56 of the third. Sitting on the far wing, Collins-Hartwig sent a hard shot past Jakimo at 6:32, but Cherney who moments earlier pushed a shot just wide-left on a Jeffs’ break, put in a low score off a Danny Gold (Medfield, MA) assist to bring Amherst back within 9-7.
Hoping to wrestle control, RIT came back by scoring three unanswered to close out the quarter, going up 12-7. Kiekebelt got things started, scoring at 6:00, before Collins-Hartwig struck again, faking a shot from the top before dodging inside and bouncing a score into the Jeffs’ net. Bressler closed out the Tigers’ decisive third period run with 52 seconds left, turning a MacIntosh pass into his 15th goal of the season.
Looking for more, Russell buried his first tally of the game and 64th of the year just 2:07 into the final frame. Bressler later extended RIT’s streak of consecutive goals to five, again converting a MacIntosh feed into a goal, before Cherney finally put the brakes on the Tigers’ run, netting Amherst’s first score since his own tally with 6:23 left in the third that made it 9-7.
MacIntosh made the Jeffs pay for another penalty at 3:33, netting his fifth score of the game to up the Tigers’ lead to eight. Unfazed, the Jeffs kept fighting, as Cherney received a pass while cutting across the face of the RIT goal, turning and firing his fourth goal into the Tigers’ net. A gritty Lord Jeffs squad scratched out another score on Redwood’s man-up score at 2:34, but that was as close as Amherst would get with the Tigers holding on for a 15-10 win.