By Chris Gionta
The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team lost to No. 2 Tufts on Thursday night at Stagg Field by the score of 28-16.
The Pride knew the Jumbos were an extremely tall task, and Tufts proved them correct on Thursday night.
“They’re legitimate — what they are,” said Springfield head coach Keith Bugbee in regards to Tufts. “They just move the ball really well, have great stick skills, they shoot the ball really well.”
The game began with a rapid pace led by the Jumbos that led to three goals from them in the game’s first 2:01. Despite the affair looking bad for Springfield at the start, they were able to slow Tufts’s momentum and hold them without a goal for eight minutes. During this stretch, the Pride scored four goals to take the lead, with two of them coming from Riley Burgmyer.
The Jumbos eventually responded with two goals to retake the lead, but Chris Santa Barbara followed that up with a shoulder-high sizzler that the goalie could not react to in time to tie the game at five.
Tufts then added two more goals in the span of 24 seconds. Next, Springfield cut the Jumbos’ lead in half on a Mason Nocito score. The Pride seemingly had good mojo heading into the second quarter. However, in the final 20 seconds of the first frame, Tufts scored two more goals to extend their lead to three.
This sparked seven unanswered goals from the Jumbos to make it 14-6 in their favor. It came during a 10-minute span in which the Pride were unable to find the back of the net.
However, Zac Schuette, Steven Betsch, and Alex Turi were able to close the gap slightly with back-to-back-to-back goals before the Jumbos executed the final score of the half to make it 15-9.
The Jumbos managed to keep showing reasons why they are one of the best Division III teams in the country. Their energetic style of play helped them outscore the Pride 7-3 in the third quarter, and 5-4 in the fourth.
A loss to the No. 2 team in Division III is nothing to hang anyone’s hat on, and Bugbee was proud of the will the Pride displayed throughout the competition.
“I mean I thought our effort was outstanding,” said Bugbee. “I thought we played really hard, really tough, really gritty.”
Springfield will be traveling to Army West Point for their next game, which will take place against Endicott next Tuesday at 12 p.m. The team’s next appearance at Stagg Field will be on March 19 against Wheaton at 12 p.m.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics