With 7:52 left in the second quarter, Mass. Maritime’s Nicholas Zaia received the ball at midfield.
The moment the ball landed in his mesh, Springfield’s Isaac Chaves landed a firm stick check to knock the ball loose. From there, he picked up the ground ball and initiated the Pride’s offense.
Fifty seconds later, Joe Hawley received the ball on left side of the net and scored to put Springfield ahead, 10-0.
That was how things went for most of the game.
Superior stick skills and lacrosse IQ led Springfield to a 19-4 victory over Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Saturday. Tom Hurley led the way individually with four goals and two assists for the Pride. Including Hurley, 17 Springfield players scored a point in the matchup.
“I like playing them (Coast Guard),” said Springfield head coach Keith Bugbee. “They are tough kids. They won’t quit. Because, ya know, they’re really military kids. I really respect the school and the type of kids that go there. They have always had athletic kids, but they just don’t have a lot of lacrosse kids. But they’ll play tough the whole game.”
By the end of the first half, Springfield held a 12-0 lead. This marked the first time all season that the Pride held an opponent scoreless in the first half.
“I just think it was a dominant effort,” said senior defenseman Connor Eschmann. “We had a great week of practice. We went hard and we focused up. We just played our game, and we did it well.”
In the latter part of the third quarter, and most of the fourth quarter, second and third line players saw a lot of time on the field.
The production was good at times; but whenever there are inexperienced players on the field, sloppy played is bound to happen.
Seven of Springfield’s nine total penalties came in the fourth quarter.
“They did good, [but] as the game went on it got a little sloppy because we really started subbing a lot,” said Bugbee. “But it wasn’t awful. Just different level kids. I did call a timeout at one point, not to yell at them, but just to say ‘Hey, the standard is the same for everybody.’ Because those guys practice every day too. They do the same thing.”
Coming up next, the Pride will take on the quickly-improving Coast Guard Bears.
Last season, Springfield defeated all but one of their NEWMAC opponents; Coast Guard.
Eschmann expects Wednesday’s game to be competitive.
“They [Coast Guard] are really going to be hungry for us. They always circle us on their schedule, especially from last year too. I think we are looking to get a little bit of revenge out there. It’s on their home field too. It’s a tough place to play, but if we play like we did today I don’t think well have any problems”
Bugbee expects the Bears to try and slow down the tempo on Wednesday..
“We’ll have to play hard like we did today. Just be a bit cleaner at times. They’ll play a lot of zone to slow us down; take the air out of the ball. They’ll sit on the ball a long time. But we’ll push them when we can.”
The game with Mass. Maritime on Saturday also served as the team’s annual Grandparent’s Day.
The event serves as an opportunity for the grandparents of players to come together and watch their grandsons play.
“We started it about 10 to 15 years ago,” said Bugbee. “We just had a set of grandparents that came to every single game. One of the parents said to me ‘Ya know, we should honor them.’ They’re such a cool part of our society. We just choose a day now every year. It’s a great turnout. We’ll introduce them all one at a time and then we get a gigantic picture with all the players and grandparents. It’s a great photo to have on the shelf. It’s a cool event.”
Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics.