SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Union men’s lacrosse team will play in their first ever national championship game Sunday against RIT. For the Dutchmen to bring home the program’s first national title, there’s a big hurdle they’ll have to jump, and a streak they’ll have to end.
The hurdle? The RIT Tigers. The streak? 20 straight losses to their Liberty League foe. Despite the streak, the Dutchmen have come close of late. Each of their losses last year were decided by two goals. This year they lost to the Tigers by just one, a 14-13 defeat in April.
The Dutchmen believe there’s a lot of room for improvement following that narrow defeat. “Our game this season with them, it came down to penalties,” said senior captain and defenseman Ryan Puglisi. “We had too many penalty minutes and they were able to capitalize on that. They’re a very good man-up team so if we can minimize those mental lapses and the penalties on our end, hopefully it will end up happy for us.”
Senior captain and attackmen Keaton McCann believes their loss to RIT actually makes the team more confident. “We played them close but there definitely were some mistakes we made and we knew it was going to take a good game out of us to beat those guys,” says McCan. “They’re a fantastic team, they’re coached very well. Not playing our best, and that game still being a one goal game gives us even more confidence coming into Sunday.”
Faceoff between the Dutchmen and Tigers is set for 1:00 PM at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.