Springfield, Mass. - May 8, 2014 - After defeating cross-town rival Western New England University, 19-13, on Wednesday afternoon, the Pride will be heading to Cortland State University to take on the Red Dragons in the second round of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament on Saturday, May 10 at 5 p.m.
The Road to Baltimore:
After a 12-6 victory over Babson College in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, the Springfield College men’s lacrosse program received an automatic qualification into the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament. Following a 19-13 victory over cross-town rival Western New England University in the first round, behind seven points from senior captain Ryon Lynch (Frederick, Md.), the Pride advance to play Cortland State University on Saturday, May 10.
Springfield vs. 2014 NCAA Field:
Of the 30 teams that qualified for the National Tournament, Springfield has faced four of them throughout the 2014 season, going 2-2 overall. Springfield defeated Endicott College 13-12 in double overtime during the team’s spring trip to Clermont, Fla., with Ryon Lynch netting a game-winning goal with 2:26 remaining in the second overtime period to lift the Pride to victory. Springfield also defeated Western New England on March 8, 9-7 behind four goals from senior attackman Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, Mass.). The Pride fell to both Amherst College, 13-12 on April 15 and Union College, 10-4, on March 15.
The last time the Pride won a NCAA Division II National Championship was in 1994, when it cruised to a 15-12 victory over the New York Institute of Technology. In 1994, Springfield College played in Division II and finished the season 12-2. Losing to NYIT earlier in the season, 14-9, the Pride were able to avenge the loss, and in turn, won the program’s only national championship, forever scribing their names into the history books.
After defeating Babson College, 12-6, on May 3, Springfield has now won 56 consecutive in-conference games, including 43 regular-season conference victories. The Pride also won its seventh-consecutive conference championship with the victory. This season, the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) decided to reinstate the sport of men’s lacrosse for the first time since 2004. The Pride became the first team in over 10 years to win a NEWMAC Men’s Lacrosse conference championship.
For the second-straight season, Ryon Lynch, a senior captain, has picked up conference Player of the Year honors. In 2014, Lynch proved to be the quarterback for a Springfield offense that averaged just fewer than 14 goals per game. The Physical Education currently has a team-high 77 points, including 27 goals and 50 assists. Lynch also ranked No. 12 in the nation, averaging 2.76 assists per game. Just one season ago, the Physical Education major posted 79 points including 37 goals and 42 assists, garnering Pilgrim League Player of the Year honors and leading the Pride into the NCAA Tournament. With 50 assists during his senior season, Lynch is currently second all-time in assists in a single season. The program record is 60 assists, set by Warren Keiley in 1982.
Following the 2014 season, the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team landed nine players on the NEWMAC’s all-conference teams. Lynch, also a NEWMAC first-team selection at attack, was joined by classmates Ryan Murphy, Branden Fernandez (Warwick, N.Y.), Matt Giannelli (Norwich, Conn.) and Connor Nash (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) on the first-team, as well as junior midfielder Bryce Serriello (Cape Cod, Mass.) and junior attackman Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.). Senior midfielder Kevin Freeman (Minisink, N.Y.) and freshman Brendan Dooley (Setauket, N.Y.) were both NEWMAC second-team selections.
Led by senior captain’s Matt Giannelli and Colby Verge (Derry, N.H.), the Pride’s defense has only allowed an average of 7.85 goals per contest throughout the course of the year. However, Springfield only gave up an average of 4.00 goals per contest throughout regular-season in-conference games, including one shutout. Senior goalkeeper, Connor Nash, has a goals against average of 8.14, complimented by a .574 save percentage in 2014 and following the 19-13 victory over Western New England in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, the Burnt Hills, N.Y. native picked up his 13th victory of the season.
The Last Time Out Against The Dragons:
The last time that Springfield College played Cortland State was in 2009 in the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse tournament. Despite 22 saves from Tom Albano and Kyle Gable's five goals and two assists, the Springfield College men's lacrosse team fell to Cortland State, 15-12. After a goal from Mike Tota gave the hosts a 14-8 lead with 2:26 left in the third, Springfield mounted a furious rally to get back into the contest. The Pride poured in four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to make it a 14-12 game with 30 seconds remaining. Four different players found the back of the cage for the Pride in the spurt as Kyle Louer, Jake Beebe, Mike Delia, and Gable each netted goals. Gable's man-up tally with 30 ticks left brought Springfield within two, the closest it had been since there was 6:47 left in the second quarter.
All-Time vs. Cortland State:
Springfield College is 5-14 all-time against Cortland State. The last time that the Pride defeated the Red Dragons was during the 2000 season, when Springfield won on their home turf, 15-8 on March 22.
A Season to Remember...
After defeating Babson College, 12-6, to win the NEWMAC Conference Tournament, Springfield reached the 14-win plateau for the third time in the last 14 years, but the second time in the last three. In 2012, the Pride finished the season 14-4 after a First Round NCAA Tournament loss to Stevens Tech.
After defeating Western New England in the First Round of the 2014 tournament, Springfield reached 15 wins, in turn, ranking them second all-time in program history in wins over the course of a season, with the 2001 squad posting a 16-2 record. In 2014, Springfield has been ranked as high as 9th in the nation and are currently ranked 13th following a week in which Springfield defeated both Babson and Clark in the NEWMAC Tournament. Springfield spent four-straight weeks as the 13th ranked team in the nation, from March 24 to April 21. Over this time, Springfield defeated the likes of Wheaton, MIT, Mass Maritime, Emerson, and Middlebury College.
I’d Rather Lose to a Springfield Guy:
As highlighted in Lacrosse Magazine, four members of the 1994 Springfield College National Championship team are head coaches in the 2014 NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament. John Klepacki of Western New England, Sean Quirk of Endicott College, Mark Theriault of Keene State College and Keith Bugbee of Springfield College were all essential parts of the team that defeated NYIT to win the Division II National Championship. Bugbee, still pacing the sidelines of Springfield College, had the pleasure of coaching Klepacki, Quirk and Theriault as well as watching them evolve in to top-tier head coaches. Klepack started as long-stick midfilder for the Pride in 1994 and was an instrumental piece of the defense that proved strong against one of the nation’s most potent offenses in NYIT. Quirk, the goalkeeper for Springfield College posted 25 saves in the victory, while Theriault was named the W.H. Brine Award winner following his impressive performance at the face-off “x”. The four of them all faced each other in the first round of the 2014 tournament, with Bugbee edging Klepacki, 19-13 and Sean Quirk’s Endicott Gulls running over Theriault’s Keene State Owls 13-10.
Success in the Sunshine State:
Out of the last four years, the Pride have traveled to Clermont, Fla. for their spring break trip and have come back from The Sunshine State with victories each time. In 2011, the Pride defeated the Owls 9-6 behind four goals from Jarrid Johnson. In 2012, it was much of the same story, as Springfield upended Keene State 11-6 as Dylan Sheehan pumped in four goals. Lastly, in 2014, a goal in double-overtime from Ryon Lynch lifted the Pride over Endicott, 14-13 to win their third game in three trips to Clermont from 2011-2014.
Running the Point:
Springfield’s starting attack line of Ryon Lynch, Ryan Murphy and Dylan Sheehan have combined for 191 total points this season and 45.8% of the Pride’s total offense, ranking their attack line seventh out of the top 20 teams’ attack lines in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches Poll.
1. Amherst College - 56.3%
2. Cabrini College - 50.7%
3. Mary Washington - 49.1%
T4. Tufts - 49.2%
T4. York - 49.2%
6. Ithaca - 46.0%
7. Springfield - 45.8%
8. Franklin and Marshall - 45.1
9. Lynchburg - 44.2%
10. Wesleyan - 42.0%
11. Montclair State - 41.0%
12. Endicott - 40.5%
13. Salisbury - 39.1%
14. Stevenson - 37.4%
15. Denison - 36.2%
16. Washington and Lee - 35.4%
17. Union College - 35.0%
18. Washington College - 34.9%
19. RIT - 31.6%
20. Cortland 31.2%
2014 Matchups Against The NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship Field
All Time Record: 16-18
Last Time Out: Despite a late-rally from the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team, the Amherst College Lord Jeffs were able to hold off the Pride as they edged out a 13-12 victory on April 15. Dating back to 2007, the contest between the two sides has been decided by a total of 10 goals, including seven one-goal games. Springfield goalkeeper Connor Nash made six saves for the Pride, as his counterpart, Greg Majno posted a career-best 20 saves in the victory.
Western New England University
All Time Record: 15-9
Last Time Out: Behind seven points from senior captain Ryon Lynch, consisting of four goals and three assists, the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team defeated cross-town rival, Western New England University, 19-13, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday, May 7 in front of 2,500 fans at Stagg Field. Junior midfielder Bryce Serriello was a force from the midfield for Springfield, netting four goals and picking up a pair of assists, while seniors Dom Roberto (Malden, Mass.) and Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, Mass.) each tallied three goals of their own. Senior face-off specialist, Branden Fernandez was impressive once again at the "x", going 21-for-30 on the day.
All Time Record: 3-7
Last Time Out: Senior Ryon Lynch netted his third goal of the game with 2:06 remaining in the second overtime to propel the Springfield College men's lacrosse team to a thrilling 13-12 win over Endicott on Wednesday, March 19. Springfield, ranked 15th in the country at the time improved to 5-1, while the 17th-ranked Gulls fell to 4-2. 10 different members of the Pride found the back of the cage in the win, with Lynch pacing the offense with three goals and two assists. Branden Fernandez picked up eight ground balls, and Connor Nash registered 16 saves to earn the win in between the pipes.
All Time Record: 7-4
Last Time Out: Despite an early 3-0 lead, the Springfield College men's lacrosse lost its first game of the season after a 10-4 setback at Union College on Saturday March 15. Connor Nash made 15 saves on the afternoon, while Ryan Murphy tallied a goal and an assist. Ryon Lynch had a team-best four ground balls.