Babson Park, Mass. - April 28, 2012 - Sophomore Ryan Murphy scored the game-winning goal with 46 seconds remaining to help lift visiting Springfield College to a thrilling 7-6 come-from-behind win over Babson College tonight in Pilgrim League men’s lacrosse action at MacDowell Field.
No. 15 Springfield tallied the game’s final five goals to erase a 6-2 second half deficit, holding Babson scoreless over the final 29:46 to clinch its fifth consecutive Pilgrim League regular season title. Babson drops to 10-6 overall and 4-2 in Pilgrim League play with the loss.
Ryon Lynch had two goals and two assists for Springfield, while first-year Dylan Sheehan scored twice and tallied one assist. Senior Shane Ferguson had a goal and an assist, and Murphy and junior Jake McGuinness chipped in with one goal each.
Senior Jamie Schmidt and junior Alex Patinkin led the Babson attack with two goals apiece. Sophmores Alex Packer and Ryan Dawidjan each added one goal each. Patinkin, Packer and seniors Cam Caruso and Tom Mallon each chipped in with an assist.
The Pride opened the scoring just nine seconds into the game as McGuinness won the game’s opening faceoff and went straight goal, beating Babson junior goalkeeper James Whalen for a 1-0 lead. The Beavers would tie things up just over three minutes later, though, as they took advantage of a Cam Spofford forced turnover when Caruso fed Packer for his sixth goal of the season at the 11:40 mark.
Babson took its first lead of the game with 5:16 remaining in the first quarter, as Packer returned the favor, setting up Schmidt for the first of his two goals after a long offensive possession. Springfield sophomore goalie Robert Maherstopped initial shots by senior Jeremy Yudkin and sophomore Mike McStravock, but after working nearly two and a half minutes off the clock the Beavers beat Maher.
Feeding off the early lead and five first quarter stops from Whalen, Babson took advantage of a late Springfield turnover, as Patinkin notched the first of his two goals with just 23 seconds left in the first quarter to put Babson up 3-1 after 15 minutes.
After trading blows for most of the second quarter, Patinkin continued the Beavers run, scoring his second goal of the game off an assist from Mallon at the 7:01 mark of the second quarter to give Babson a 4-1 lead. Springfield responded though, as Ferguson, after missing wide with two shots earlier in the possession, beat Whalen to stop a scoreless drought of 26:24 for the Pride, cutting the Beavers’ lead to 4-2 with 3:27 remaining in the quarter.
Ferguson’s goal only momentarily stopped Babson’s run as Dawidjan scored his third goal of the season just 1:25 before halftime to match the largest lead of the half to send the Beavers into the break with a 5-2 advantage.
Schmidt’s second goal of the game, a man-up tally off an assist from Patinkin, just 14 seconds into the second half pushed the Babson lead to four at 6-2, as the Beavers seemed to be on the verge of breaking things open.
Springfield, who has now won eight straight games, showed its mettle, gaining control of the game, and working long, patient possessions that led to high percentage shots. Sheehan started the Pride comeback with his 22nd goal of the season at the 5:29 mark of the third quarter off a feed from Lynch, and Lynch scored the first of his two goals just 1:50 later after a Babson turnover to make it 6-4 after three quarters.
Lynch opened the fourth quarter scoring with his second goal at 12:58, cutting Babson’s lead to 6-5. The Beavers continued to cling to a one-goal advantage, but were outshot 16-3 over the final 15 minutes, and struggled to get quality possessions, going just 1-for-4 on clear opportunities.
The Pride made the most of their opportunities over the final minutes, taking advantage of three Babson penalties to tie and win the game on man-up opportunities. Sheehan’s second goal of the day with just 2:45 remaining drew Springfield even for the first time since midway through the first quarter, before Murphy gave the Pride their first, and only, lead of the day with his man-up goal two minutes later. Whalen was strong between the pipes for Babson making 15 stops, while Maher made nine of his 11 saves in the first half for Springfield to help keep the Pride close.
Dawidjan led Babson with four groundballs and five caused turnovers on the night, while first-year Christian Cattaruzza and Patinkin each picked up three ground balls. Spofford forced three turnovers for the Beavers. Murphy and Maher each collected a team-best five groundballs for Springfield, while senior Tim Cimini had four. Sophomore Branden Fernandez won 9-of-15 faceoffs for the Pride.
Springfield held a 39-26 advantage in shots, including a 24-7 edge in the second half. The Pride went 17-for-20 on clear opportunities while Babson was just 12-for-22.
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday in the Pilgrim League semifinals. Springfield is the top seed and will host fourth-seeded MIT, while third-seeded Babson will travel to take on second-seeded Wheaton College. Game times are still to be determined.