By Hayden Choate
The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team suffered a tough loss to No. 12 Union College, 14-7, on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.
With it being a close but low-scoring affair in the first half, it was in the final six minutes of the third quarter when Union scored five unanswered goals. The Dutchmen closed the door on Springfield, as they would not score again being shutout in the final quarter.
“We talk a lot about playing sixty minutes and a five-minute span like that really hurt us,” Springfield head coach Keith Bugbee said. “That was the game really. We couldn’t recover after that. We couldn’t make a run.”
The Dutchmen led 2-1 at the end of the first quarter after many turnovers from both teams, but in the second quarter, Springfield scored four times to go up 5-2.
Union then went on a three-goal run that was interrupted by the end of the first half. Deadlocked at five going into halftime, the Pride were ready to keep battling.
“I think we competed, really good first half I thought, really good team we’re playing,” Bugbee said.
Joe Maimone scored his third goal of the day to start the second half putting Springfield up 6-5.
Union scored back-to-back goals, but Chris Santa Barbara tied the game at seven with 7:48 left in the third quarter ﹣ the final Springfield goal of the day.
In the third quarter, the Dutchmen won nine out of the ten faceoffs, which was a crucial part of the five-goal run and the game.
“I thought we competed really well then we had a little lull in the third quarter,” Bugbee said. “They made a run, that run really hurt us. Faceoffs, they’re good, kind of hurts a little there, some failed clears, that little five-minute span.”
With the exception of two empty-net goals by Union in the final 1:39 of play, the fourth quarter was dead-locked with no goals for the majority of the period.
Springfield goalie Jack Hamilton made 13 of his 22 saves in the second half, trying to ignite a comeback for the Pride after Union’s third quarter run.
The Pride fell to 1-2 on the season having come into the game having lost in overtime to Stevens Tech last Saturday. Union improves to 3-0 with the win after beating Babson last Saturday and then Endicott on Wednesday.
Springfield’s tough schedule will get even tougher, as they have a quick turnaround when they host Tufts on Wednesday night at Stagg Field.
“You get better from it,” Bugbee said. “It’s hard for the guys you want to win every game.”
After hosting Tufts next week, the Pride will play Endicott during Spring break before beginning NEWMAC conference play hosting Wheaton in two weeks.
Springfield will then still have Middlebury, Amherst, Western New England and Wesleyan on their schedule for non-conference opponents.
“The only difference between now and past years is we always play this schedule and it’s definitely helped us,” Bugbee said. “But our conference is not much different than this now. It’s really exciting so we just have to keep getting better, we have to play sixty minutes in our conference, too.”
Photo: Hayden Choate/The Student