Utica College vs. Rit
April 22, 2009
The Game Story:
UTICA, NY (April 22, 2009) - The Utica College men's lacrosse team was officially knocked out of contention for an Empire 8 Conference tournament bid Wednesday afternoon after a 17-7 loss to visiting RIT. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first 5:50 of play and they never looked back, holding the Pioneers to a combined two goals in the second and third quarters. Michael Bulger netted a team-high three goals for UC, while senior goalie Travis Wright stopped 17 shots.

With the loss the Pioneers dropped to 8-6 overall and 3-4 in conference. Despite the loss, the Pioneers are winners of four of their last six games and eight wins is tied for the school record headed into a conference match-up Saturday against visiting St. John Fisher College at 1 p.m.

RIT, winners of three of its last four contests, improved to 9-5 overall and 4-2 in conference play. The Tigers will continue to jockey for a spot in the coveted conference tournament as they host Nazareth College at RIT Field Saturday.

The Tigers 5-0 first quarter outburst was led by sophomore attack Eric Bressler, who netted the first and last goals of the rally, and the Tigers held a five goal lead with 9:50 to go in the first quarter of play. The Pioneers responded late in the first quarter with two goals in a span of 22 seconds to cut the RIT lead to 5-2 headed into the second quarter. Junior classmates Andrew Waite and Michael Bulger netted the first and second goals of the contest for the Pioneers.

The second quarter resembled the first in that the Tigers opened the stanza with five consecutive goals, including two straight from senior midfielder Billy Walton in a span of 1:01. The five goal spurt gave RIT a commanding 10-2 lead with 3:40 to go in the first half of play. The Pioneers were able to tack on one goal prior to the half as Bulger, the teamís leading scorer, netted his 33rd tally of the season with just 13 ticks left before the first half buzzer.

Ten seconds into the second half junior Micheal Brodhead cut the Tigers lead to six goals, 10-4, when he netted his 24th goal of the season to open the third quarter scoring.

Once again the Tigers had an answer for UC, scoring four goals in a span of 9:57, as they took a 14-4 lead into the final 15 minutes of play. Walton and Bressler each added their third goal of the game in the key third quarter run.

Both teams netted three goals in the fourth quarter, including two straight from the Pioneers to end the contest, but the Tigers combination of scoring and defense resulted in a ten goal victory for the regional power.

RIT outshot UC 57-34 on the day and earned a 38-32 ground ball advantage. The Tigers did an excellent job of disrupting the Pioneers clearing ability as they managed to hold Utica to 22-of-35 on clear attempts and they also caused 43 turnovers.

Andrew Waite totaled three points for UC on two assists and one goal, while Brodhead, Aaron Benoit and Tanner Stewart each added a goal for the Pioneers.

Bressler and Walton led the way for the Tigers with four goals each, while Sean Gillies totaled three points on two assists and one goal. Three goalies combined for ten saves in net for the Tigers, including Kevin Rattigan (eight saves), Robert Tonnessen (two saves) and Dan Wiatroski.