Assistant Sports Editor
The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team is peaking at the right time and coach Keith Bugbee could not be happier.
“This is a big stretch right now,” said Bugbee. “Wheaton is going to be really good; they just beat Babson today so that is going to be a great game for us.”
The Pride will have three home games in over the next week with Pilgrim League games against Wheaton and Babson serving as the bread, while next Wednesday’s game against Western New England is the meat of their schedule.
“I don’t want to look too far ahead, but that WNE game gives us two home games before Babson,” said Bugbee. “We couldn’t, I don’t think, be playing any better than we are right now.”
The Pride’s roster features 49 players this spring. During this five-game winning streak, the Pride have had big wins over Regis (16-4), MIT (12-4), Mass Maritime (17-3) and Clark (16-3), which has given the young guys a lot of time.
“We start racking up points and we feel cool and calm,” said senior Mike Delia. “Their defense gets tired and we’re just patient. So we pump in a couple goals and we can get the young guys in which is great because they work their butts off in practice.”
Twenty-six different players have registered a point this season, led by sophomore Ryon Lynch’s team-high 39 points.
Springfield does not lose faceoffs. Controlling the “x” has been a big part of the Pride’s success these past three seasons with sophomore Branden Fernandez and junior Chris Loy taking the majority of the draws this season.
“During the offseason we would work for about two hours twice a week,” said Loy, who has won eight of 20 faceoffs this year. “We sometimes would go to Bryant to work with [former coach] Casey Broderson to get some tips and have him help us out.”
Fernandez has been the go-to-guy for faceoffs though, registering a winning percentage of 58.1, which puts him in the top 50 in Division III. Fernandez followed in the footsteps of two-time Pilgrim League Player of the Year, Mark Eaton.
“Mark was really my mentor last year,” said the sophomore. “He helped me a lot last year and he’s been down for a few games this year. He just gives me tips on what I can do better and what I’m doing well.”
Next Game: Saturday vs. Wheaton, 3 p.m.
Jimmy Kelley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org