The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team faced off against Clark University on Wednesday evening at Stagg Field for the second time in only a week. After falling to an early 2-0 deficit, Springfield’s talented offense and disciplined defense lead them to a 13-3 victory in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference semifinal, advancing the maroon and white to the NEWMAC championship game on Saturday against the Beavers of Babson College.
The Cougars were the first to get on the board in the matchup when Clark’s point leader on the season, Nick Johnson, received a feed from attackman John Goracy in close. Johnson turned quickly and converted on an aggressive Connor Nash in the Springfield net to put Clark up one.
Subsequently, Nash found himself in the penalty box picking up an unnecessary roughness call, summoning backup Springfield goalkeeper Rob Maher between the pipes.
Just over a minute later in the first quarter, Goracy tallied another assist on a laser pass to fellow attack, Rob Holden, who was able to beat Maher in a chaotic scene in front of the crease to put the Cougars ahead 2-0 with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Junior attackman Kevin Sainte got the momentum flowing for the Pride, scoring on a man-up opportunity off of a quick feed from attack Ryon Lynch who was positioned to the direct left of the Cougar’s net. The maroon and white then took control offensively with the final three goals in the quarter all coming from separate Springfield contributors, putting the Pride ahead 4-2 going into the second quarter.
“We played them the week prior so we knew they were going to keep a 2-2 set,” Springfield Goalkeeper Nash continued, “We said let’s just stick to Springfield ball and we should be able to handle them pretty well, and that’s what we did.”
Clark goalkeeper, Kevin Ranta had a busy evening in net facing a total of 51 shots from the Pride’s explosive offense, while Springfield goalkeeper Nash faced just 15 from the Cougars.
Once again, the Pride had many different scoring contributors who aided to their team’s success. Captain Ryon Lynch had another strong outing leading the Pride in points, notching one goal, accompanied by four assists. Bryce Serriello also snuck four shots past Ranta and Dylan Sheehan was able to tally two goals as well as a pair of assists.
“We just try to come out with a lot of energy and really just run our offense and focus on us and not so much what the other team is doing … We like to dictate the pace of play rather than play down to our opponents, ” said Springfield attackman Ryan Murphy who finished the game with two goals himself.
Springfield will host Babson at home for the NEWMAC Championship for the conference’s first championship since the 1999 season. Following the Beaver’s 10-6 victory over MIT, the Beavers found a spot in the title game. The Pride outplayed Babson 14-3 in conference play back on April 26th, that is the only time the two have faced each other this season.
“If we do what we do well, we should be in good shape,” Springfield Coach Keith Bugbee said following the game.