Springfield College scored the first three goals of Saturday’s matchup with No. 6 Stevens Institute of Technology, but the Ducks offense came roaring back as their high-flying offense carried them to a 16-8 win over the No. 20 Pride.
Just over a minute into Saturday’s game, Springfield sophomore Dylan Sheehan found himself with the ball just past the midfield line. With one man to beat Sheehan fired a long pass to junior Ryon Lynch who easily dumped the ball over Stevens’ Matthew Deiner and into the net. Keith Bugbee and the pride couldn’t have asked for a better start against no. 6 Stevens Tech who had previously won four straight games over Springfield.
The crowd at Stagg Field erupted into a frenzy when Lynch scored the early goal. Over the next four minutes, goals by junior Kevin Freeman and sophomore transfer Byrce Cerriello would push Springfield’s lead to 3-0. The early onslaught prompted Stevens head coach Gene Peluso to call a time out.
The Ducks formidable offense would score four unanswered goals over the next six minutes, including two by Andrew Schrutchfield. With 1:23 left in the first Sheehan finished a Kevin Sainte feed to knot the score at four apiece through a quarter of play.
The Ducks started the second quarter with a man advantage that Springfield successfully killed off. The pride failed to score on the ensuing possession and Stevens took the lead back on Scrutchfield’s third goal of the contest. Defensively, Stevens played very well in the second quarter, not allowing a goal until the 2:02 mark when Sheehan finished a Lynch feed on the doorstep for his second goal of the afternoon. Sheehan’s goal stopped a 4-0 Stevens run and would make the halftime score at 8-5 in favor of the visitors.
The match up of the afternoon featured returning first team All-American midfielder Rich Dupras and imposing defensive midfielder Colby Verge. Dupras struggled getting past Verge all afternoon until the 6:03 mark of the third when Stevens took a 9-5 lead. After catching a lazy pass up top Dupras faked to his left and smoothly pulled back across Verge’s face where he unloaded a low shot that beat preseason All-American goalie Robert Maher.
Soon after, Nicholas Phillipi would push the Ducks lead to 5 when he beat Maher on the near pipe. The third quarter was highlighted by Stevens’ domination of possession, strong defensive play for Springfield and several great saves by Maher.
With 12:07 to go in the game, freshman Kevin Dean caught a loose ball in-front of the cage and faked out Stevens goalie Matthew Deiner for Springfield’s second man-up goal. The Ducks’ Sean Scrudato traded goals with Cerriello to make the score 11-7.
Cerriello’s goal was made possible by the player of the day when Freeman deftly stopped and flipped a loose ball along the sideline behind himself to Sheehan, freezing both defenders pursuing Freeman and allowing Sheehan to set up Cerriello for the 15-yard tally. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Pride would get.
Stevens scored the next three goals to push their advantage to 14-7 with just over four minutes left to play. Deiner finished with 13 saves while Maher recorded 15. Junior faceoff specialist Branden Fernandez was playing in his first game since a preseason injury and won 12 of 26 draws.
Dupras led all scorers with six points on three goals and three assists while Sheehan and Lynch led the way for the pride with four points apiece. With the win, Stevens and Peluso own five consecutive victories over Bugbee and the Pride dating back to the 2010 season. Springfield owns a 1-2 record and have 10 days off until they travel to play NESCAC opponent Middlebury.