Rit vs. Wesleyan
May 13, 2006
The Game Story:
ROCHESTER, NY – The #10 Wesleyan University Cardinals (15-3) squandered a 6-0 first quarter lead, but fought back with five fourth quarter goals and clutch defense to defeat #4 Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (15-3) 11-8 in the 2006 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship Second Round game at RIT Field.

Wesleyan advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals and will play the winner of the Geneseo/St. Lawrence contest on Wednesday.

With the game tied at seven early in the fourth quarter, Wesleyan tallied three goals within a 3:09 span to go up 10-7. Mike Vitulano put the Cardinals back up 8-7 with 11:14 left, taking a feed from Glenn Adams in front and slipping it past RIT goaltender John Foley (Guelph, ON/Our Lady of Lourdes). Jason Ben-Eliyahu converted a fast break pass from Jordan Funt and tallied his second of the day to put Wesleyan up 9-7.

Russell Follansbee gave Wesleyan a 10-7 lead with 8:05 left in regulation, stealing the ball from Foley at midfield and sprinting past to fire the ball into the vacant RIT net.

Wesleyan got off to a tremendous start, holding the Tiger offense, which came into the game ranked third in the nation in scoring scoreless for the first 22:10 of the game.

The Cardinals converted on six of nine shots over the first 15 minutes to take a 6-0 lead.

Chris Jasinski opened the scoring with a shot from the slot 3:33 in and Funt tallied 16 seconds later right off the ensuing face-off to give the Cardinals a quick 2-0 lead.

Funt tallied his second of the game with 8:53 to go in the opening quarter, as he took a pass from Vitulano that got through a host of players in front. Vitulano was all alone in front and beat Foley.

Wesleyan made it 4-0 less than a minute later, as Adams took a feed right in front of the Tiger net from Funt and beat Foley up high.

The Cardinals continued to have no problem solving the Tiger defense as Follansbee found Ben-Eliyahu all alone in front of Foley. Ben-Eliyahu made no mistake with the point blank chance, giving the Cardinals a 5-0 lead.

Adams tallied his second of the game with Wesleyan on a man-up situation with 1:58 left in the quarter, as he ripped a shot from about 12 yards out past Foley to put the Cardinals up 6-0.

After a sluggish first quarter of play, the Tigers turned it on in the middle quarters outscoring Wesleyan 6-0 to the tie game at six.

RIT held a 15-3 advantage in shots, kept Wesleyan off the board for the entire second quarter, and scored twice to get within 6-2 after 30 minutes of play. RIT had a handful of golden opportunities in the final five minutes of the half to get closer, but had two shots ring off the goal post and had a few more turned aside by Cardinals goalie Charlie Congleton, who made seven first half stops.

Zach Bednarz (Webster, NY/Webster) got the Tigers on the board with 7:40 left in the second quarter, as he spun around from about 10 yards out and ripped a shot between the legs of Congleton.

RIT crept to within 6-2 with 5:01 left in the second, as Colin Jesien (Cambridge, MD/Cambridge-S.Dorchester) took a pass from Andrew Ruocco (Corning, NY/Corning East) and slammed the shot home from the crease for his 17th goal of the year.

The Tigers came right out in the third quarter and scored four straight goals, dominating play to tie the game at 6 after 45 minutes of play.

Right away, RIT cut the Wesleyan lead to three, as Bednarz tallied his second goal of the game on a fast break 46 seconds in.

Jesien tallied his second of the day with 11:58 to go in the third quarter in nearly identical fashion to his first ally, taking a feed from Ruocco in the slot, spinning and whipping a low shot past Congleton to make it 6-4 Wesleyan.

The Tigers kept the momentum, as Eric Pritchard (Webster, NY/Webster) potted his 54th goal of the year with the man-advantage, taking a feed from Dave Thering (Fairport, NY/Fairport) with 5:55 left in the quarter and ripping a shot from 15 yards out over Congleton’s shoulder cutting the Wesleyan lead to one.

Foley made the save of the day with just under three minutes to go in the third, as Grayson Connors found himself all alone in front after a Tiger giveaway. Connors put two dekes on Foley but the Tiger netminder did not bite, making a phenomenal save on the low shot to keep the score 6-5.

Thering got the Tigers all the way back, as he took a feed from Bednarz at the side of the net with 50 seconds left in the third and one timed a shot into the goal for his 33rd of the year and a 6-6 game.

Wesleyan did not quit however, as Adams tallied his third of the day on a man-up opportunity 1:27 into the final quarter to put the Cardinals back up one goal, 7-6. It was the first goal for the Cardinals in 33:25, going all the way back to the first quarter.

RIT’s Scott Farress (Webster, NY/Webster) tied the game at seven 1:03 later, scoring on a wrap-around.

For the 18th straight game, RIT held the edge in shots, out-shooting the Cardinals 42-30. The Tigers compiled 49 ground balls to Wesleyan’s 45.

Congleton made 14 saves for Wesleyan to pick up his 15th win of the season. Foley made 12 saves for the Tigers in a losing effort.

Adams scored three goals and added two assists for the Cardinals. Funt added two goals and two assists. Three Cardinals had three points each.

Bednarz led RIT with two goals and two assists. Pritchard and Jesien scored twice, while Thering had a goal and an assist. Ruocco dished out two assists.