When Springfield men’s lacrosse scores, they do it in waves. One goal turns into two goals which turns into five goals. Then before the other team knows it, they are in a deep hole. The Pride had moments in their game with Coast Guard on Wednesday night where it seemed like the tidal wave of goals was on the horizon, but it never came.
Springfield lost to Coast Guard 9-8 in a NEWMAC conference matchup. Brendan Boss highlighted the Prides scoring output with four goals. Duncan Preston came through with a pair while Kyle Dillon and Tim Cozens came through with one goal each for the Pride.
From the start Coast Guard made it known that they were going to be a stout opponent for the Pride. In the first four minutes, Riley McNulty and Benner Geurtsen scored a goal apiece to give the Bears a quick 2-0 lead. Springfield fought back and rattled off three straight goals (Dillon, Boss, Preston) before the end of the first quarter to claim their first lead of the game.
Boss went on to score two straight goals in the second quarter to give the Pride a 5-3 lead, but Coast Guard did not waver and retaliated with two goals of their own to tie the game at 5-5 with 13:07 left in the third quarter.
With Boss’ back to back goals, it seemed like Springfield was prepared to release the barrage of goals that they do on most of their opponents. But Coast Guard hunkered down and played sound fundamental defense to curtail to explosion of goals.
“When teams pack it in and slide early like they did you have got to move the ball quick and make quick decisions,” Springfield head coach Keith Bugbee said. “I felt like we were half stepping all day. We just never got going”
In the third quarter, and for most of the second half, the Pride figuratively kicked themselves into gear on the defensive end and seemed to bring a little extra force on their stick and body checks. The extra enthusiasm paid off and Springfield was able to keep the Bears offense from opening things up. Moving into the fourth quarter, Coast Guard led 7-6.
Coast Guard’s Ryan Gochar scored with 10:07 left in the fourth quarter, but was quickly followed by a Springfield goal from Brendan Boss 34 seconds later to keep the score at 8-7. For the next six minutes and 43 seconds, no one scored. Pride goalie Jake Reynolds and Coast Guard goalie Trey Johnson made phenomenal saves to keep the game close for both sides during the span.
With 2:50 left in the game, Springfield finally broke through with the game tying goal. Duncan Preston lined up from 15 yards out and fired a shot into the back of the net to tie things up at 8-8. The Pride had all of the momentum at this point, but the team’s defense faltered and allowed the Bears Anthony Wyler to run through the interior of the defense and put one away with 1:22 left in the game, ultimately sealing the victory.
With the loss, The Pride now find themselves in the mix with the rest of the NEWMAC conference. With two tough matchups with MIT and Clark on the docket, the team has put themselves in a suboptimal position when it comes to the postseason.
“We put ourselves in a tough spot. A spot I didn’t think we were going to be in,” Bugbee said. “Now we have to win out. I don’t even know what it would be like if we didn’t. I was hoping we wouldn’t be in the mix, but now we are.”