HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — The defending national champions wasted no time in the first game of their title defense, as Fairport native Spencer Bell scored four goals to lead RIT (18-1) to a 22-6 win over Albion (15-5) in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
Pittsford alum John Mozrall tallied a goal and an assist to lead RIT to a 5-1 lead after the first quarter. Bell, seniors Conor Bollin, Marley Angus, and Quinn Commandant each scored for RIT in the opening quarter.
Albion’s Jace Conley tallied an unassisted goal with 7:57 remaining in the first that cut the Tigers lead to 3-1.
Bell scored twice in the second quarter, while Traynor tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Tigers to an 11-4 halftime lead.
RIT scored the first five goals of the second, extending its lead to 10-1 on junior Luke Pilcher’s goal from senior Pent Eistrat. Seniors Zeb Hollinger and Ryan Barnable each scored in the second for the Tigers.
Albion ran off three goals late in the quarter, cutting the RIT lead to 10-4 on Sam Puzevic’s goal with 42 seconds to play. Traynor scored with two seconds to play off a feed from Bollin to give RIT a seven-goal lead at halftime.
Bell scored twice in a seven-goal outburst by RIT in the third quarter. He scored twice at the end of the quarter off assists from Canandaigua alum Sam Bennett and sophomore Mike Grace to help RIT extend its lead to 18-6. Commandant had a goal and an assist in the third, while sophomore Ian Dinga scored.
Dinga, Bruno, sophomore Seth Grottenthaler, and Bollin each scored in the fourth quarter for RIT to make it a 22-6 final.
RIT fired 66 shots, including 40 on target. The defending Division III national champions are making their 12th-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and 23rd overall. RIT has reached the quarterfinals 16 times, played in 11 national semifinal games, and advanced to the national championship game in 2021, 2017 and 2013.
RIT finished 23-of-23 on clearing attempts, won 25-of-31 draws, and had 53 ground balls. 17 Tigers tallied at least one point.
Senior Drew Hutchison made six saves in net for RIT to improve to 18-1 on the season. Pilcher finished with three goals. Commandant, Bollin, and junior Dylan Bruno each tallied two goals and an assist. Traynor and Mozrall each finished with a goal and two assists, while Bennett handed out a season-high three assists. Freshman Carson Taylor won 18-of-24 draws and scooped up a career-high 16 ground balls.
RIT will host MIT in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday (May 15) at 3:00 P.M. The winner advances to the quarterfinals next weekend.