In the Liberty League semi-finals, No. 5 Ithaca College men’s lacrosse team extended its winning streak to five games after defeating Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 8–7 May 2 in Troy, New York. With this win the Bombers move on to the Liberty League Championship to face off against No. 1 Rochester Institute of Technology on May 5. The South Hill Squad is 15–2 on the season and 6–2 in Liberty League play.
It was a shaky start for the Bombers as they allowed two goals by the 12:59 mark of the first quarter. Senior attacker Kalean Fitzpatrick answered back fast with a goal of his own bringing the Blue and Gold within one goal with 11:55 still to play. The high scoring first quarter continued with RPI scoring 3 more goals in the quarter. The Bombers managed to find some offense of its own scoring two more goals making it a 5–3 RPI lead heading into the second frame of play.
The fast paced action of the first quarter carried over to the second as junior midfielder Josh Della Puca scored his 21st goal of the season just 35 seconds in. The Engineers fired another goal in the back of the net with 6:35 remaining to bring their lead back to two. However the Bombers did not waver under pressure and scored two goals to close out the half making it a 6–6 game at halftime.
It was a tale of two halves for this affair since no goals were scored in the third quarter. Sophomore goalie Robby Atwood stepped up big for Ithaca in the third quarter making three huge saves. Finally, in the fourth quarter the South Hill squad broke the goalless drought and put one in the back of the net with 12:57 to play. Just when the Bombers thought they booked their ticket to the Liberty League Championship, Higgins Stadium was stunned by a RPI goal with only 2:46 left to play.
This game needed overtime to find a winner, and that winner did not emerge in the first overtime, which was similar to the third quarter since there were no goals. It only took 42 seconds in the second overtime for the Bombers to find its overtime hero by way of Della Puca blasting one home to send the Bombers to the Liberty League Championship.
Della Pucca and Fitzpatrick both had 2 goals on the day. It was RPI who applied the most pressure this game as the Engineers amassed a total of 37 shots and forced 17 turnovers. Luckily for the Bombers, Atwood came up big when he was needed by not allowing a goal in both overtime periods and making 12 saves total.
Ithaca is back in action May 5 at 1 p.m. to face No. 1 RIT in Rochester, New York for the Liberty League Championship.