Springfield, Mass. – April 30, 2014 - A four-goal performance from junior midfielder Bryce Serriello (Cape Cod, Mass.) aided the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team to a 13-3 victory over Clark University in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinals on a rainy Wednesday night at Stagg Field.
With the win, the Pride, who improve to 13-3 overall on the year, will face Babson College in a rematch of last year’s Pilgrim League Championship, with a chance to earn the conference’s automatic qualification into the NCAA Tournament.
Senior goalkeeper Connor Nash (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) proved strong between the pipes for the Pride, only allowing a pair of goals while making seven stops and picking up the victory.
Senior attackman Ryon Lynch (Frederick, Md.), the reigning NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Week following a pair of six-point performances, dropped five points on Wednesday night including a goal and four assists.
Springfield, who held the Cougars scoreless in the second half, made it two-straight games where they have failed to succeed a second-half tally, winning the second half against Babson last Saturday, 9-0.
Clark opened up the game scoring back-to-back goals from Nick Johnson (Amherst, Mass.) and Rob Holden (East Longmeadow, Mass.), but a quick man-up tally from Kevin Sainte (Belmont, Mass.) sparked a four-goal run for the Pride.
During the run, the Pride received a string of goals from Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, Mass.), Serriello and Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, Mass.) to take a 4-2 lead into the end of the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Serriello caught a pass from Brendan Boss (West Springfield, Mass.) just outside the 12-yard mark and stung a shot under the crossbar to extend the Pride’s lead to three.
Just minutes later, junior Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.) caught a pass from Lynch in the crease and fired a shot into the top right corner to give Springfield a 6-2 lead.
With 5:36 remaining in the half, Lynch took his defender behind the cage and lost him with a roll dodge, only to find Murphy on the back post for a slick one-handed finish to make the score 7-2 in the Pride’s favor.
Following a goal from Clark sophomore Ryan Moore (West Hartford, Conn.) to make it 7-3, Boss caught a cross-field pass and buried a shot past Kevin Ranta (Beverley, Mass.) to bring the Pride’s lead back to five.
After a goal from Sheehan to open the third quarter, senior Matt Fleisher (Ramapo, N.J.) dodged over the top and ripped a well-placed shot past Ranta to give the Pride a 10-3 advantage.
With the man-up advantage midway through the third quarter, a perfectly-executed play found Sheehan feeding Lynch in the crease for an easy finish to push the Pride’s lead to eight.
Back-to-back goals from Serriello pushed the Pride’s lead to 13-3 in the final minutes of the third quarter, icing the victory for Springfield.
The Pride will host second-seeded Babson College on Saturday for the NEWMAC Championship at Stagg Field following the Beavers’ 10-6 victory over MIT on Wednesday night. Game time is set for 1 p.m.