Five Things You Need to Know About RIT
This will be the first big test of the season for the Tigers as national powerhouse Cortland comes into Rochester for the game that has been a one goal game each of the last two regular season games they have played. The result of this game will show what the Tigers have to offer for the rest of the season.
With a very experienced defense in front of him, this should provide the young net minder with early confidence leading up to Liberty League play. If he catches fire early in the year, there no telling how far the Tigers can go this year in a year.
The Tigers Offense, which averaged 15.2 goals a game last season, is Nike Lebron High Tops
Their only player to take considerable draws and finish the year above .500 was all American midfielder Jordan MacIntosh (43G, 32A, 92GBs, 103 FO wins, 51.5%), who has graduated.
Where the RIT offense lacks in experience the complete opposite can be said about the defensive side of the field for the Tigers. Coon returns all three starting close defensemen from a unit that surrendered only 8.5 goals a game, in juniors Evan Burley (16GBs, 12CT) and Elliott Cowburn (30GBs, 18CT), and senior Eric Horeth (38GBs, 28CT).
Game to Watch: vs. SUNY Cortland, March 28
With the attention on preseason all Americans Russell and Collins Hartwig, Tingle appears to be the one to reap the benefits of running the offense from behind the goal and looking to find Russell, Hartwig and others for the open looks. Expect his assist numbers to be huge in their first year in a new league that has seen the Tigers in limited action.
Coon will be looking for Russell and Collins Hartwig to be more balanced scorers as their respective unit mates develop chemistry around them. At the attack unit, look for seniors AJ Tingle and Matt Lesczynski to join Russell on a senior laden group with limited starting experience. At the midfield, expect a unit by committee to join Collins Hartwig with senior Tom Riley, senior Ryan Speciale, junior Mac Keehfus and a long list of freshmen looking to crack into the rotation for playing time.
The Tigers have moved conferences to the Liberty League after an undefeated final campaign in the Empire 8 and look to continue their dominance in the North Region of the Division III landscape. The Tigers, No. 8 in the USILA Division III Coaches Poll for the preseason No. 10 in the Face Off Yearbook, enter the season as the Face Off Yearbook favorite to win the Liberty, but they are followed closely in the conference by Union, RPI and Skidmore. This provides Coon and the Tigers with plenty of opportunities to discover who their go to players will be on a relatively untested offensive unit while relying on a seasoned defense early as they fill the gaps from graduation last season.
a question mark at the beginning of the year, it appears the Tigers will be relying of a stellar back line to win more tight games than they were involved in a year ago.
Best Bet: AJ Tingle, Senior, Attack (20G, 12A)
MacIntosh led the Tigers in scoring in 2011 with 75 points (43, 32). The 75 points in 2011 was 10th all time at RIT for points in a season, and he finished his career at RIT 25th on the all time scoring list with 128 points on 78 goals and 49 assists. He currently an all star in the National Lacrosse League playing for the Minnesota Swarm.
Sophomore Tyler Shaw, who went 30 63 at the X last season, but he is listed as an attackman. Kiekebelt went 20 of Nike Lebron Soldier 10 Black 41 last season. If either can grow as a draw taker, especially early in the year, it will allow the offense to get valuable possessions to build their chemistry, and find the right pieces for the new puzzle on that side of the field.
returning only 47% of their overall point total (238 of 510 total points). The Tigers only return five of the top 10 point scorers from a year ago, highlighted by sole returning starting attackman senior Tyler Russell (72G, 4A) and senior middie Jordan Collins Hartwig (34G, 8A).
The major concerns for the defense will be filling the void at the top and bottom of the unit with the graduation of first team All American LSM MJ Kiekebelt (131 GBs, 57 CT, and scored 24 points) along with goalie Robert Tonnessen, who made 204 saves for 57.3%. The likely heir at LSM is senior Avery Hallett, but he most likely will face stiff competition and assistance from juniors Luke Wolfe and Nick Schiefer. In between the pipes, it appears to be last year back up, sophomore Anthony DeLeo job to lose as he is the only returning goalie to see any playing time last year. Having a veteran close defense in front of him will allow for him to get comfortable much easier, but with the offense being Nike Zoom Clear Out Blue
Sleeper Pick: Anthony DeLeo, Sophomore, Goalie
2. Replacing points on Offense
Winning at the area of concern for Coon and the Tigers is at the face off X, where they only won 48.5% of their total faceoffs (264 544) a year ago.
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