Ryan Matlack/The Student
Assistant Sports Editor
Next guy in. That seems to be the mantra that coach Keith Bugbee and the Springfield College (1-0) men’s lacrosse team lives by. After losing 93 goals from last year’s team, the Pride found offense from a slew of new players in their 13-10 season-opening win over Gordon College (0-1) Wednesday.
It was a five-goal second quarter that paved the way to victory for Springfield. Senior Shane Ferguson scored two of his four goals during a stretch that gave the Pride all the room they would need.
Between Parker Geane’s first-half hat trick and Ferguson’s four goals, the offense seemed to find someone else to score every time down the field. Eight different players scored goals, while sophomore Ryon Lynch and senior Mike Delia handed out three assists each.
It was back and forth in the first quarter as Geane scored two goals in the first four minutes to give Springfield the advantage. Gordon came storming back, however, scoring three straight goals to take a 3-2 advantage at the end of the quarter.
Then the floodgates opened in the second quarter. Lynch’s goal at the 14:27 mark got things started, as the offense put up four unanswered goals before Gordon’s Adam Quinn finally scored. Ferguson and Quinn traded goals to end the quarter with Springfield taking a 7-5 lead into the half.
Freshman Sean Doolady opened the second half scoring on a nice feed from Lynch. The sophomore attack man would get his third assist a few minutes later, finding Eric Baslov for the goal a 9-6 lead.
The two teams would trade goals the rest of the way, with Gordon making a charge at the end. Leading 11-8, Pride goalie Connor Nash made a save but Quinn blocked the attempted clear, scooped it up and scored.
Sophomore Brandon Fernandez, as he did all game, won the ensuing face off which led to a Ferguson goal that effectively halted the comeback. Fernandez won 13 of 15 face-offs in his first full game at that position.
“Face-offs are huge,” said Bugbee of the Pride’s 19-7 advantage in draws. “[Brandon] has worked really hard to become a face-off specialist and he’s done a great job of it. Between him and Mike Delia, we won almost 80% of them.”
Also huge were the contributions of Lynch and fellow sophomore attackman Ryan Murphy. The two accounted for two goals and four assists in their first start together.
“Murph’s a great player,” said Lynch. “I’ve got no problem throwing him the ball. You know he’s going to catch it and he’s going to finish it. He can dodge and see everyone just as well as I do.”
Lynch’s play without the ball was also key on a few goals. His work on ground balls and defending clears led directly to two goals.
“Last year, I realized that being a Springfield College lacrosse player, being a “Chief Dawg,” means that blue-collar, hard-working style of lacrosse,” said Lynch. “We pride ourselves on riding and getting that ball back and keeping long possessions.
Coach Bugbee was encouraged by the win but also saw the signs of it being an opening game of the season.
“We looked a little jittery at times, not as clean as we wanted to be with some stuff,” said Bugbee. “But we have a much tougher opponent coming up next.”
The Pride return to the field on Saturday as they travel to Nazareth. Springfield won last year’s match-up 11-8 at home while Nazareth was ranked No. 17 in Division III.