Springfield, Mass. – May 4, 2011 - After opening up an 11-0 halftime lead, the Springfield College men's lacrosse team bested visiting MIT, 16-7, in the Pilgrim Lacrosse League Tournament Semifinals on Wednesday evening on Stagg Field.
The victory boosts Springfield's record to 10-5, while the Engineers season comes to a close with a 5-8 record. These two teams were plenty familiar with each other, having just played last Saturday when the Pride prevailed, 15-5.
The top-seeded Pride will now vie for its fourth-consecutive Pilgrim League Championship when it hosts second-seed Babson at 1:00 pm on Saturday May 7 at Stagg Field. Babson advanced to the championship after dispatching third-seeded Wheaton, 18-9.
Springfield simply overpowered the Engineers, outshooting the visitors 62-15, including a 23-1 edge in the first quarter. In the face-off department, the Pride continued to impress winning 16-of-27, including all eight in the decisive opening 15 minutes.
Runyon was marvelous in the win as he posted six points, off four goals and two assists in the first half to pace Springfield. Jarrid Johnson netted three goals and added an assist, while Shane Ferguson dished out three helpers. Mike Delia notched three points as well to reach 100 points for his career, reaching his milestone with an assist on the final goal of the night.
Connor Nash posted a shutout in the first half, making two saves to earn the win. Both Vinny Senatore and Tim Cimini caused four turnovers, with Senatore scooping up seven ground balls. Mark Eaton won all five of his face-offs in the first quarter, picking up five ground balls, before Branden Fernandez went 11-for-18 the rest of the way with eight ground balls.
MIT's Dan Piemont netted three goals in the fourth quarter, while Nick Sisler dished three assists and tacked on a goal for a team-best four points. Christopher Rullan stood tall in the cage and recorded 20 saves. Bryan Beller caused four turnovers in the loss, and both Justin Myers and Timothy Wilczyn snagged five ground balls.
The Pride wasted little time setting the tone for the game as it netted three goals in the opening 1:30 into the game, forcing MIT to burn its first timeout of the game. Runyon started off the spurt with a goal 58 seconds in, before Austin Orsini and Tyler O’Keefe scored 16 seconds apart as MIT called for a break at the 13:30 mark.
Springfield continued to pour on the pressure with four more goals in the next nine minutes of the opening quarter as an extra man goal from Parker Geane and a strike from Ryan Murphy after some great ball movement sandwiched consecutive tallies by Runyon.
Runyon continued his torrid play with a goal 1:03 into the second quarter after a great finish on the run, weaving through the MIT defense. Springfield closed out the first half scoring with markers by Delia, Johnson, and Eric Balslov to go into the half with an 11-0 lead.
Another goal by O'Keefe just 13 seconds into the second quarter made it 12-0 before Morgan Krey scored the visitors first goal of the game at the 6:34 mark. Springfield answered with tallies from Johnson and Colby Verge to take its largest lead of the game at 14-1 with 36 seconds remaining in the third.
Using back-to-back man-up goals from Piemont and Sisler to start the fourth, MIT strung together six-straight goals in a 5:17 span to get within seven at 14-7. Eric Zuk scored a pair of goals just 13 seconds apart in the burst, while Piemont poured in three goals.
Head coach Keith Bugbee eventually put his starters back on the field and they weathered the MIT burst as goals from Harry Bernstein and Johnson closed out the scoring as Springfield won 16-7.