By Gage Nutter
Assistant Sports Editor
Having a goalie that communicates with their defense effectively and fearlessly faces blisteringly fast shots is a pretty big advantage in itself. But when you have someone that does those things and is not afraid to pick up a ground ball and run it to midfield for a clear, the opposing team could find themselves in a whole world of trouble.
Springfield men’s lacrosse goalie Jake Reynolds is that type of goalie, and has been getting well deserved recognition for it. Reynolds was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Lacrosse Defensive Athlete of the Week back on Mar. 20. Reynolds has earned the accolade in two straight weeks and three times in total this season.
Reynolds does not attribute his success to his undeniable skill, but to his teammates effort that make life for him between the pipes easier.
“The defense has been giving me shots they know I can handle,” said Reynolds. “There are a lot of things that don’t get counted like blocked shots, and that helps me a lot. They make my job a lot easier.”
Reynold’s ability to get out from inside the net, fight for loose balls and initiate clears comes from his role as a source of energy for the team.
“It is an energy thing, I try to be a high energy guy,” said Reynolds. “When your goalie can do that it takes some stress off the other guys and makes the team second guess how they are going to ride us. If I run out once or twice maybe they will think to play me and that i’ll open things up.”
The team went 1-1 over their spring break in Virginia Beach, Va. The loss came at the hands of 10th ranked Cortland State on Mar. 16 by a score of 9-8. The win came against Endicott on Mar. 19 by a score of 11-6. Reynolds tied his career high for saves in the win with 21.
The loss to Cortland was a tough one to swallow for Springfield. The Red Dragon’s Dave Foster went coast-to-coast for an unassisted goal with just 10 seconds remaining to edge the Pride.
Although the team lost, Reynolds thought the team worked hard not just on an individual basis, but as a unit.
“It was tough to come away with that one goal loss, but during the game different classes of kids were mixing together well so I think we are a lot closer now than before,” said Reynolds.
With Reynolds playing gatekeeper in between the pipes and the hot sticks of Jack Vail (14 goals) and Dom Abate (11 goals) putting balls in the net, the Pride are in a good place right now as a unit and should excel if they keep playing like they have been the last few games.