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RIT Lacrosse: National Champs in NCAA Division III

RIT senior midfielder Ryan Barnable scored the double-overtime game-winning goal to lead the Tigers to a 15-14 victory over Salisbury in the 2021 NCAA Division III National Championship game, Sunday, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.

RIT clinched its first national championship in men's lacrosse program history while finishing the season undefeated with a 14-0 record.  The third time was also the charm for the Tigers after falling in the 2013 and 2017 national championship games, including a 16-14 setback to the Sea Gulls four years ago.

Senior attackman Quinn Commandant was named the tournament Most Outstanding Player after totaling five goals and two assists in the victory.

In a news release from RIT, Coach Jake Coon credits the work his team put in this year, saying that it has been a challenging year for them. “I'm happy for RIT. Everyone who is involved with RIT lacrosse, our alumni, Mr. Spiotti, retiring this year, couldn't think of a better finish for him. We had an interesting week. We had a player lose his mom. And he's back home. He couldn't even make this game. And these guys really rallied around him. It was really special. We also had a birth with our assistant coach had a child, his first child. So what an amazing feeling for everybody involved with RIT lacrosse,” Coon said.

RIT senior goalie Walker Hare was credited with 14 saves, including a game-saving stop with 1:07 left in the first overtime.

Hare said of the victory, “It means the world. This is something I've never been able to experience before. We're just elated to be a part of the team that did it for RIT.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.