Rit vs. Hartwick
April 27, 2002
The Game Story:
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Josh Molinari (Oswego, N.Y./Oswego) registered eight points with two goals and six assists to lead the Rochester Institute of Technology men's lacrosse team to a 17-7 demolition of No. 8-ranked Hartwick College in Empire 8 action Saturday afternoon at RIT Field.

The Tigers (7-4, 4-1 Empire 8) have been a rejuvenated squad since their 14-13 come from behind win against then No. 6-ranked Nazareth on April 20. In the two games since that victory, RIT has outscored Utica and Hartwick by a combined 34-13 margin.

The win vaults RIT into first-place tie in the Empire 8 with Ithaca at 4-1 in league play. Ithaca defeated Nazareth 7-5 today. The two teams will face-off on Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m. with the league championship and NCAA automatic qualifier on the line. However, the Tigers still have a non-conference matchup at Mercyhurst on Wednesday May 1 at 4 p.m.

The Tigers took control from the opening face-off with RIT's Geoff Selleck (entering the game at 60.6%, 109-for-180) getting the better of Empire 8 leading face-off man Bill Luzzi of Hartwick (entered at 70.9%, 161-for-227) winning 5-of-6 first quarter draws. Selleck finished the afternoon winning 17-of-25 face-offs he took.

The ball control with the face-off advantage proved to be big difference as RIT scored five goals including the first-blood goal at 11:38 with one of Chris Copeland's (Webster, N.Y./Webster) four on the day from Molinari. After an almost seven-minute scoreless streak, the Tigers scored four goals in the final five minutes to build a 5-0 lead at the end of the first. Molinari took it himself scoring on a diving shot just outside the crease with 5:00 to go in the first, then Ryan Neward (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville East) scored his first of two in the first just 29 seconds later and then Copeland added his second at 2:47 before Neward closed out the first-quarter scoring with 56 seconds left.

The Tigers showed no mercy in the second quarter building a 10-0 lead four minutes into the quarter with a pair of goals by Chris Vallone (Corning, N.Y./Corning East) and markers from Selleck (Rochester, N.Y./Rush-Henrietta), Neward and Dan Tuschong (Irondequiot/Inrondequoit). Hartwick scored three man-up goals in the final 4:49 of the second to cut the lead to 11-4 at halftime led by leading scorer Ross Pino (Webster, N.Y./Webster) with three of the Hawks four goals.

The third quarter was non-eventful for both teams, but RIT expanded their lead to 13-5 on goals by Copeland and Selleck. In the fourth, Neward scored twice, while Copeland and Tuschong added goals.

Last week's Empire 8 Co-Goalies of the Week squared off in the contest with RIT's Chris James (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) shining with 26 saves on the day and allowed just seven goals, while Hartwick's Mark Colite (Southington, Conn./Southington) recorded 10 saves and allowed 11 goals in 45:00 minutes of action and reserve Mike Bannon made two stops and allowed six goals in the second quarter.

The Tigers' defense continued to play with great intensity with another shutout of the opposition in the first quarter and allowed just one goal in the third to the nation's No. 8-ranked team. Despite allowing three second-quarter man-up goals, the Tigers stopped eight other Hawks' extra-man chances and won the ground ball war 62-37.