Springfield, Mass. - March 30, 2013 - Junior Ryan Murphy scored with just three seconds remaining to lift the Springfield College men's lacrosse team to a thrilling 11-10 victory over 16th-ranked and rival Western New England on Saturday afternoon.
Springfield, which was playing its sixth nationally-ranked team of the season, snaps its sixth-game slide as it improves to 2-6 on the year. WNE evens its record at 5-5.
Murphy scored a team-best five goals, while teammate Ryon Lynch added two goals and three helpers. Branden Fernandez was dominant at the face-off "X", winning 16-of-25 draws to go along with 12 ground balls. Matt Giannelli caused three turnovers and Robert Maher earned the win with 11 saves between the pipes.
Adam Knapton led the Western New England offense with four points, including three assists, and senior Nick Jez recorded a hat trick. Senior Corbett Corrigan Harreys and junior Sean Lawton added two goals apiece.
Trailing 10-8 with under 2 minutes left, Western New England tied the contest on long-range goals by Jez and Knapton 1 minute and 1 second apart.
On the ensuing face-off, Fernandez won another draw to go to set up the last possession of the game in favor of the Pride. After a WNE foul near the right sideline, Murphy worked inside to get past a Golden Bear defender and then he ripped a shot over the right shoulder of WNE sophomore goalkeeper Brandon Body for the game-winner from in close.
Body finished with a career-high 17 saves, including seven in the first quarter alone to help keep Western New England in front, 2-1, after 15 minutes. That was the only time the Golden Bears led on the afternoon.
Western New England won the ground ball battle by a 32-29 count.Junior Jesse DeLucca led the Golden Bears with seven ground balls, and junior Jack Liacos was a strong presence on defense with five ground balls and four caused turnovers.
The rivalry contest, which has been won by Springfield the last two years, was another epic battle that featured six ties, with neither team leading by more than two.
The Pride will return to action on Wednesday when it opens up Pilgrim Lacrosse League play at Regis at 6:00 pm