In the first day of New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Confrence men’s lacrosse games since 2004, the Springfield College Pride took care of the Wheaton Lyons by the score of 13-5 on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.
The Pride came into the game ranked No. 13 in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches Poll and with the win, the Pride climb to 6-2 while Wheaton is now 3-6.
The 300 fans brave enough to sit through the rain were treated to some late game fireworks as 9 of the 18 goals were scored in the fourth quarter.
One of the biggest stories for both sides was a history one, as Saturday’s match was one of the first NEWMAC ones in nine seasons. The conference carried the sport from 1999 through 2004, but most teams held dual partnership with the Pilgrim League in order to possess NCAA tournament eligibility. In 2004, the NEWMAC conference stopped sponsoring men’s lacrosse. The conference then decided that they would again carry the sport starting this spring.
The point spread for the Pride was fairly diverse, however attackman Dylan Sheehan had a four-point afternoon with two goals and as many assists stood out as well as junior Bryce Serriello, who had his second consecutive hat trick for Springfield.
“I just did what the coaches asked me,” said Serriello. “We started off slow… we just made it tough for them to keep up with us.”
For Wheaton, the scoring was much more concentrated, as all five of their goals came from two freshman. Barrett Jenness, who scored the first three, while Ryan Gjerset scored the final two.
The game featured a couple of the best in the conference on both sides of the ball, as reigning NEWMAC offensive player of the week Ryon Lynch of the Pride squared off against defensive recipient Harrison Bramhall, the goaltender for the Lyons.
Both players had above average games, with Lynch putting together two goals with an assist. On the other end, Bramhall was strong through most of the game, stopping 15 of the 28 shots on net he faced.
The game went through multiple phases of hope for Wheaton, as they were tied or within one goal on four occasions, however they were unable to make the final push to pull ahead, something that became especially clear late in the fourth quarter.
After conceding a fifth goal to the Lyons with 6:33 remaining in the game, the Pride went on an absolute tear, scoring four goals within the last five minutes, two of which came from senior Dom Roberto.
The Pride are certainly off to a good start in the NEWMAC, having picked up their first win in conference play in as many attempts.
“League games are different,” said Bugbee, pleased with his team’s first conference showing. “You’ve got to shift gears a little bit, to go to the NCAA tournament you have to win the league, so everything is based on that. Teams are going to play us really tough, and they did a great job.”
The Pride will go on a week long hiatus, not playing again until next Saturdays match against MIT in Cambridge, where they will take on a .500 Engineer team in a battle of two unbeaten squads in a recently revived NEWMAC conference.