Assistant Sports Editor
Winning in lacrosse becomes exponentially easier when you have a fearless and tactical goalkeeper sitting between the posts. The type of guy that stays focused even when he takes a laser of a shot off the thigh, or goes the extra mile to clear the ball for his team.
Jake Reynolds was that goalkeeper for the Pride on Wednesday in their 17-12 victory over Stevens. Reynolds finished with a career-high 21 saves for Springfield. Dom Abate had four goals on the day, followed by Jack Vail, Ty Daugstrup and Lucas Habich with three goals each. Ray McCarthy, Duncan Preston, Brandon Boss, and Tom Hurley added one goal apiece.
Pride head coach Keith Bugbee was extremely impressed with Reynolds performance.
“He made some crazy athletic saves today,” said Bugbee. “I think a lot of his saves were crucial for momentum. They had the ball for a long time at one point and we just needed to stop the bleeding a little bit. They peppered him a lot and he did a great job keeping his composure and playing the ball well.”
Springfield and Stevens were neck and neck for the majority of the first half. With 4 minutes, 37 seconds to go in the second quarter, it seemed like the Pride were about to pull away. Jack Vail scored off a well-placed shot close to the right post to put the team up 6-3. However, Stevens came right back with a goal of their own 25 seconds later off the stick of Christian Werlau. The Pride jogged into the locker room at the break with a 7-5 lead.
Although a two goal lead is not a comfortable margin by any standard, Reynolds felt confidence in his team’s ability to hang on in the second half.
“[Against Nazareth] we had to play from behind, so going into halftime up 7-5 was a huge confidence booster,” said Reynolds. “I think we looked at it as ‘we know we can take this game, we just have to do it play by play’.”
Springfield in the third quarter played with their hair, and sticks, on fire.
The Pride found the back of the net seven times in the quarter. Four of those goals came from sophomores, as Vail and Lucas Habich each had two in the quarter.
Bugbee was happy to see the underclassmen getting involved in the offense.
“This is the first year for some of the sophomore to be in the limelight and I feel like they really responded well,” said Bugbee. “I love to see balanced scoring like that. That means the guys are really getting involved.”
The Pride led for the entire game, but their lead came into jeopardy a few times throughout the matchup because of penalties. Springfield gave Stevens seven man-up opportunities during the duration of the contest. Thanks to the hard work and effective communication by the Prides man-down defense, and the effective goalkeeping of Reynolds, Stevens was only able to cash in on two of their seven man-up opportunities.
The Pride look to make it three wins in a row by beating Union on Saturday in Schenectady, NY.