In the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason national poll, Springfield is ranked 14th. In addition to being ranked 14th in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Poll, the Pride was singled out by Lacrosse Magazine as one of two teams that has caught the pollsters eye this spring.
Head coach Keith Bugbee has put together one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the history of the program. The Pride will take on four teams ranked the preseason top 20, including Stevens, Union, Bowdoin, and Western New England. In addition, Springfield will battle Amherst and Endicott, both of which are among teams also receiving votes.
On a regional scale, juniors Ryon Lynch, Rob Maher, and Branden Fernandez were selected as New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) Preseason All-New England honorees. Maher was named to the first team, while both Lynch and Fernandez earned second team honors.
Lynch had a breakout sophomore campaign on attack for the Pride, leading the team with 58 points. He posted a 34 assists and 24 goals and ranked 36th nationally in assists per game. The Frederick, Md. native scored at least one point in every game and had at least three points in 11 contests. Also very effective on his rides, Lynch caused 13 turnovers.
Maher is coming off one of the finest seasons for a Springfield goalkeeper in program history. Owning a save percentage of .651 that ranked fifth nationally, the Katonah, N.Y. native posted single-season program record 5.64 goal against average that was also fifth best in the nation. He finished the season with 138 saves and owned an 12-3 record.
Taking over the face-off duties from two-time Pilgrim Lacrosse League Player of the Year Mark Eaton, Fernandez had a terrific sophomore season. The Warwick, N.Y. native won nearly 63% of his draws, going 174-for-278, which ranked 17th best in the nation. In addition, he led the team with 91 ground balls.