The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team overcame a 9-3 halftime deficit to win the regular season Pilgrim League title with a 13-11 win over Babson College on Saturday at Stagg Field. Ryan Murphy scored four goals and added an assist to lead the Pride while Brendan Boss chipped in three goals and an assist of his own.
Springfield played a nearly perfect third quarter, outscoring Babson 5-0 while allowing the Beavers to take just one shot during the period. This came after a lackluster first half dug the Pride into what looked like an insurmountable hole.
“I told my coaches there’s about 15 things we need to work on, but I think they just need to hear one thing,” Springfield coach Keith Bugbee said. “What I told them is that they just needed to play faster. Everything they did was at one pace and it was two steps behind. Once you start playing fast other things happen. You get more ground balls, maybe a few bounces go our way. I think they really bought into that.”
Bugbee made a change in net at the half as well, swapping out junior Rob Maher for Connor Nash. The change coupled with the improved energy from the defense helped pull Springfield back to within one goal by the end of the third quarter.
The momentum changing goal was the fifth and final of the whirlwind third quarter. It began with a beautiful takeaway check by sophomore Matt Dalton, then an off-balance pass from Boss which found Murphy on the doorstep for the goal with just 1.4 seconds left in the quarter.
“I knew we needed a goal but I didn’t think Boss was going to pass it since he was falling over, but he made the ‘one more’ and obviously that was a huge goal headed into the fourth,” Murphy said. “We’ve been in big games before so nothing else was different so we just knew we had to step it up in the second half.”
The game-changing run began with a nice finish by Boss from in close just 47 seconds into the second half and ended with the emotional goal from Murphy and the end of the period. In the interim the Pride got goals from Kevin Sainte, Boss again and Tony LaGuerre while also out-shooting Babson (10-1), dominating the faceoff “x” (4/5 by Sean Doolady), and winning the groundball battle 12-7 in the period.
Doolady, a junior, made the start in place of the injured Branden Fernandez and did a fine job, winning 15-of-26 draws and helping keep Springfield in possession throughout the second half.
Serriello tied the game at nine at the 11:47 mark of the fourth, but Babson’s Spencer Low gave the Beavers the lead back less than a minute later. Another three-goal run that featured goals from Murphy and Ryon Lynch was punctuated by a goal from senior long-stick midfielder Mike Donaghue.
“That’s one of those backbreaking-type situations when a pole scores. Like at Wheaton we had Colby [Verge] score and then a pole score and it just is such a momentum swing,” Bugbee said.
Babson’s offense was paced by senior attackman Alex Patinkin who scored three goals and added an assist. Local product Kyle Barsalou added two goals and an assist for the visitors while goakeeper James Whalen made eight saves in defeat.
With the win, Springfield will host any games they play in the Pilgrim League tournament, beginning with a semifinal matchup on Wednesday against MIT. Babson will host their semifinal as well after earning the No. 2 seed and will face Wheaton.