Cortland, N.Y. – May 10, 2014 - Despite a late fourth-quarter charge that featured seven goals, the Springfield College men's lacrosse team fell to Cortland State, 14-10, in the NCAA Division III Championship Second Round on Saturday afternoon.
The loss caps off a historic year for the Pride as it ends the campaign with a 15-4 record, marking its second most wins in program history.
Cortland, which entered the game ranked 8th in this week’s USILA National Coaches Poll, improves to 16-3 and advances to play Tufts this upcoming Wednesday.
Ryon Lynch (Frederick, Md.) paced the Pride with seven points on five goals and two helpers, while Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.) posted three assists and a goal. Connor Nash (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) ended the game with eight stops.
Lynch finished the season with 84 points, the seventh most in program single-season history. For his career, Lynch totaled 227 points, the sixth-most all time in program history. Quarterbacking the Pride's offense for the past three years, Lynch's 133 careers assists is the third-highest total in Springfield history.
Cortland held a 42-32 advantage in shots, while the Pride won the ground ball battle, 33 to 29. Branden Fernandez (Warwick, N.Y.) won 16-of-27 draws from the "X" and picked up a team-best eight ground balls.
Bryce Serriello (Cape Cod, Mass.) put the visiting Pride on top at the 13:19 mark of the first half as he dodge past his man down the left alley and buried a bounce shot.
The Red Dragons answered back to even things after a lengthy possession on a strike with 6:25 on the clock. Matt Rakoczy took a feed from Slavic and ripped a shot into the top shelf for the hosts first goal. Cortland took its first lead of the game with 1:32 left in the first as Ben Dunlavey got free on the crease and finished on Slavic’s second assist of the afternoon.
Cortland’s 10-man ride generated a goal for the hosts just 1:34 into the second. Zach Hopps found Mike Cummings in transition, and Cummings was able to find the back of the cage after throwing several fakes on Nash. Cortland netted its fourth-straight goal on an unassisted goal from Dunlavey just 1:50 later, only to have Brendan Boss (West Springfield, Mass.) sting the bottom left corner 48 seconds later to make it a 4-2 contest.
However, Cortland would string together three-straight goals to take a 7-2 advantage, and give the Pride’s its largest deficit since March 19. Slavic netted the first two goals, including a man-up goal at the 6:20 mark, before Patrick Brown converted on the crease to force the Pride into a timeout with 4:57 left in the half.
After a battle for a loose ball at midfield, Springfield came away with possession and Matt Dalton (Somers, N.Y.) zipped a pass to Lynch who fired home the Pride’s third goal of the day. Rakoczy ripped a shot from 10 yards out with only seven seconds left in the opening half to send the Red Dragons into the locker room with an 8-3 advantage.
Cortland controlled much of the third quarter and scored the only four goals of the period to open up a 12-3 cushion. Slavik got things started with a strike from 12 yards out two minutes into the quarter before back-to-back man-up goals from Hopps off feeds from Slavik just 21 seconds apart and another Cummings goal on the crease with 1:13 on the clock pushed the hosts lead to nine.
Springfield scored its first goal of the second half 2:56 into the final period after Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, Mass.) zipped a cross-crease pass to Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, Mass.) who flipped a shot into the back of the net. Cortland answered right back with strikes from Cody Consul and Dunlavey to give the hosts their largest lead of the game, a 14-4 advantage with 8:44 to play.
The Pride’s offense then came to life as Lynch and Sheehan did everything they could to bring the Pride back. Sheehan started the scoring run with a goal at 7:37 off a great look from Lynch before Sheehan fed Lynch for three-straight goals in a span of 1:25. Lynch then found Kevin Freeman (Minisink, N.Y.) for a strike at 2:08, only to score the final goal of his storied career off a pass from Freeman with 1:33 left in the contest to cap off the furious rally.