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The RIT Tigers are looking stronger and stronger every week, and a trip to championship weekend is appearing inevitable in 2021.

RIT Tigers – Is This The Year?? DIII RUNDOWN

We’re getting back into the swing of things! The rust is almost off, and were starting to see some teams really separate themselves from others (RIT Tigers). You’re also seeing some teams rise up from obscurity to take down ranked teams. 

Before we get into it, we’d like to send our condolences to the family of former Yorktown and Syracuse legend Rob Kavovit. Unfortunately, Rob passed suddenly this past week at his home in Florida, and the lacrosse world is reeling from it. To see the outpouring of support for his family and the memories of who he was as a person has been inspiring and shows just how close the lacrosse community is. Our thoughts are with the Kavovit family and the Yorktown and Syracuse lacrosse families as well. 

Tiger Beat – Is This The Year?? DIII Rundown

#1 RIT 19 vs #12 St. John Fisher 11

Wow…what a start to this game.

Much like DII, DIII fans can get spoiled during the season with some midweek ranked contests. This game had the makings of a fantastic matchup that had Upstate NY bragging rights on the line. We’ve wondered for years when the RIT Tigers were going to break through and get that elusive championship.

This may be the year.

The addition of Larson Sundown from Limestone is paying dividends early, and it looks like the Tigers may be on a collision course with championship weekend. Sundown, Dawson Tait, and Ryan Barnable had a field day in this one. The RIT Tigers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, but St. John Fisher stormed back to tie the game. From there, though, the Tigers took control and got themselves an early ranked win over one of the more underrated teams in Division III. RIT kept it rolling on Saturday as the Tigers took down the Red Dragons of SUNY Cortland.

Southern Virginia 17 vs #19 Washington and Lee 12

Many fans didn’t see this one coming. SVU showed up ready to play and didn’t let an early W&L run stop it from competing. A close game through the first half saw SVU pull ahead five minutes into the third quarter and never look back.

Zach Dannememan had a monster outing for SVU with eight goals and an assist in a huge win for the Knights and coach Jason Lamb. It’s SVU’s first win over a ranked opponent in program history, and it has given this team a huge boost going into the next part of the season. It also continues the positive trajectory of a program that has made huge strides over the last few years under Lamb. The USA South should have a new top dog when the Knights join the conference this fall. 

#11 Christopher Newport vs 10 #2 Lynchburg 9 – OT

If you didn’t get a chance to watch this one on Saturday, you missed out on one of the best games of the season.

This was arguably the biggest win in program history for the Captains of CNU. Coming into the game, you had both teams undefeated with Lynchburg getting some more attention because of a huge win against then-No. 1 Salisbury. But CNU took leads throughout this game, while Lynchburg wouldn’t go away. CNU held a two-goal lead with two minutes left in regulation, but Lynchburg wouldn’t be denied and tied the game with 22 seconds left.

Alex Brendes stole the momentum from the Hornets 40 seconds into overtime and delivered them their first loss of the season. Don’t worry though, the Captains and the Hornets will run it back this week as Newport travels to Lynchburg for some Friday Night Lights and a chance at redemption for the Hornets. 

#4 Salisbury 11 vs #5 Cabrini 4

It was a tale of two halves in this one. Both teams battled back and forth for the first 30 minutes, with a narrow 5-4 lead for the Seagulls at the break. But that’s about as close as it got as the Seagulls blitzed Cabrini in the second half.

Led by a second-half shutout, the Seagulls took control and got one back from Cabrini as revenge for their loss in the 2019 Semis. This score could’ve been a little bit more lopsided had it not been for Cabrini’s Matt Sageder’s 24 saves. The Seagulls seem to be picking up steam and have a huge home matchup coming up on April 3 with Christopher Newport

BONUS – A Pirate’s Life For Me!!!

Shoutout to the Southwestern Pirates and their upset of Illinois Wesleyan. The boys from Texas stole one from IWU, made more impressive by the fact that both their goalies were unavailable due to quarantine! Insert converted midfielder Blake Sitterly in the net and watch what he does. Sitterly finished with 13 saves and an unbelievable game-winning goal that stunned just about everyone. Talk about showing up for a game and making a difference!!!!

Need more DIII lacrosse?

Check out this article by Hope College men’s coach Mike Schanhals on how Division III lacrosse has navigated the pandemic and what to watch now that it’s back.

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