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EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Jake Coon believes a chance to win a national title does not materialize every year.

The RIT coach’s team seems to have other ideas.

The Tigers rallied past Liberty League rival Union 12-10 on Sunday at Rentschler Field to claim their second consecutive Division III title.

Senior goalie Drew Hutchison made 16 saves to earn most outstanding player honors and senior attackman Quinn Commandant scored three goals and added an assist for RIT (22-1), which erased a five-goal deficit.

“We stayed positive the whole time,” Hutchison said. “Our group’s pretty resilient and no matter what the score was we were going to go out and make our plays. The offense played great in the second half and they were able to bury a couple more than they scored on us.”

The Tigers became the sixth school to win back-to-back Division III titles, joining Hobart (1980-92), Salisbury (1994-95, 2003-05, 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17), Nazareth (1996-97), Middlebury (2000-02) and Tufts (2014-15).

Peter Burnes had two goals and two assists for the Dutchmen (18-3), who were making their first appearance in the D-III final.

“This whole experience is something we're going to remember for the rest of our lives,” senior midfielder Kieran McGovern said. “Obviously, right now things didn't bounce our way today, but still very proud of this team, and I'll be proud until the day I die to say I was a part of this team.”

Things very much looked like they were going Union’s way in the early going against its longtime nemesis. The Dutchmen outworked RIT in the first quarter, earning a 13-4 edge in ground balls.

The immediate result was Union peppering Hutchison with shots, with 31 of its 54 attempts in the first half. And while the Dutchmen went up 7-2 with 4:49 left before the break, RIT switched from man to zone to slow down the tempo and catch its breath after playing so much defense early on.

“We went to the zone with confidence,” Coon said. “We came into the game knowing it worked for us the last time we played them this year and we saw some flaws in their zone offenses. We were going to try it early on and it seemed to be working and we just went with it. It was better than expected.”

Not only to Hutchison continue to make stops, he also triggered the transition chances the Tigers usually generate with aplomb but were denied early on.

“I think we had some bad turnovers offensively that led to some transition goals and a couple subbing miscues that led to some easy goals and got them confident and back in the game,” said Union coach Derek Witheford, whose program had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals before this month. “But honestly, I think the goalie won the game in the second half. He caught fire.”

RIT got two goals back late in the first half, then two more in the first five minutes after the break. By the time Commandant finished Pent Eistrat’s transition feed with 7:05 left in the third, it was tied and the game had swung to the Tigers.

Commandant’s goal with a minute remaining in the third gave RIT the lead for good.

“We want to get up and down and not being able to do that early in the game kind of hurt us a little bit,” Commandant said. “As we got going, Hutchy was getting the ball out real quick and we were able to get out and run.”

RIT would score the next two goals as well --- making it an 8-0 run --- before the Dutchmen finally ended a scoring drought of 23:23 on Hayden Frey’s goal with 11:26 remaining.

“Like everything in this game, it comes and goes,” Union attackman Keaton McCann said. “There are waves, and we needed to weather the waves we knew they were going to go on. Credit to them for stepping on the gas.”

While the second half was frustrating, Union still appeared ready for the moment even while absorbing its 21st consecutive loss to the Tigers. RIT’s 12 goals were tied for a season low and a stark contrast to hitting the 20-goal plateau in each of its first four NCAA tournament games.

As for the Tigers, the end of regulation nearly as harrowing as last year’s frantic double-overtime defeat of Salisbury. Commandant scored off a turnover with 12 seconds to go to force extra time on the same field last Memorial Day weekend.

This time, the accomplishment of yet another national championship didn’t sink in so suddenly. However, RIT planned to savor it just as much.

“You don’t get these opportunities very often, and you’d better take advantage,” Coon said. “We talked about that a lot. It doesn’t come around every year and don’t expect it to. It’s certainly a goal of ours, but you need to take it all in and cherish the moment.”