After a devastating loss against Salisbury University in the 2017 NCAA DIII National Championship game, the Tigers knew they would be back.
This weekend, RIT can avenge the 12-11 loss five years ago, as they face the Seagulls for the program’s first-ever national title.
“It was kind of a big moment so going back into it now, it’s not so much about being there,” said fifth-year defenseman Alex Maruna. “Now it’s about getting the job done.”
Maruna and the other players who played in the last championship game shared their experience with the team leading up to the game. Victor senior Nick Montemorano thinks their insight will help tremendously.
“The guys who have been there before are making the emphasis that we can’t let the moment get too big for us,” said Montemorano. “There’s a lot to take in once we get there, it’s obviously a big stage and the environment is different from a typical game. The field is the same size field.”
Winning RIT’s first national championship is the goal every year, but Montemorano feels it is their time. Head coach Jake Coon agrees, and hopes he can make everyone who came before them proud. It would mean even more to send Lou Spiotti, the longtime, retiring athletic director, out with the accomplishment.
“It’s about all of the alumni and the folks that have made this program so successful, Mr. Spiotti being one of those people,” said Coon. “Him retiring this year, I couldn’t see a more fitting end. I hope we can pull that off for him.”
RIT will face Salsibury University on Sunday, May 30.