By Hayden Choate
The score was tied at nine with 3:16 left in the third quarter when the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team hosted Western New England Tuesday night on Stagg Field.
Senior captain Connor Roberts, a defenseman, joined the fast break. Fellow senior captain Zac Schuette found Roberts at the top of the box, and let go a shot as hard as he could, beating the Western New England goalie.
“Honestly, we had just got done playing defense for a long time,” Roberts said. “I was wide open at the top of the box and I was like, ‘well, might as well shoot, put it on net and it will go in hopefully.’”
The goal gave the Pride a 10-9 lead. It was their first goal of the second half after the Golden Bears had erased a three-goal deficit earlier in the quarter.
Joe Maimone gave the Pride a two-goal lead to make it 11-9 but the Golden Bears clawed back again. Riley Burgmyer’s second of his three goals provided Springfield a 12-11 lead with 12:09 left in the fourth quarter.
Springfield never looked back — scoring five more goals in the fourth quarter while the defense held Western New England to just one.
The win gave Springfield their second straight after they beat NEWMAC rival Babson on Tuesday.
Springfield’s defense never let Western New England claim the lead the entire game. Roberts — a major piece to the Pride’s defense — knew not letting the Golden Bears take the lead was crucial.
“It was really important — they went on a couple runs,” Roberts said. “Once we were able to get a couple stops in a row their offense kind of skidded out and more and more, we put the ball on the ground more and more we got it to the offense, they started putting goals on the scoreboard.”
Roberts had ten ground balls in the game while Long-stick midfielder Jackson Lane had six.
“We work so hard to put the ball on the ground and I think it’s really important to reward ourselves by getting the ball up the field and giving it to the offense and letting them do their thing,” Roberts said.
Despite a relatively quiet third quarter where they only scored twice, Springfield’s strength on offense was a balanced attack Tuesday night.
In addition to Burgmyer, Mason Nocito and Joe Maimone had hat tricks. Patrick Watson, Alek Turi and Chris Santa Barbara all had two goals while Schuette added one.
Roberts also scored Saturday at Babson, which therefore has him at a two-game goal streak. Although he is a defenseman rather than a long-stick midfielder, when the ball is being cleared his job is to get up the field and if he has a lane to the net, take it.
“Coach talks about it all the time — pushing transition,” Roberts said. “If I’m up the field I mean I’ll run up there, hopefully get a couple looks from the attackmen, and see how it ends up.”
With the win, Springfield is now 5-6 on the season while they are 2-1 in conference play. They now travel to Emerson for a Saturday afternoon game in Boston where they hope to keep the momentum going.
“We got a league game next,” Roberts said. “That’s obviously the most important and getting a little confidence, getting a little groove, playing our brand of lacrosse and good things will come.
Photo: Mike Hoyt/The Student