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Strong Second Half Propels Men's Lacrosse Past Gordon, 20-9

Branden Fernandez Wenham, Mass. - February 20, 2014 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team scored nine of the first 10 goals of the second half as it coasted to a 20-9 win over Gordon College in its season opener on Thursday afternoon.

Springfield, which was receiving votes in the first USILA National Poll to begin the year, improves to 1-0.

Ryon Lynch (Frederick, Md.) finished the day with five assists, while Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, Mass.) posted five points on three goals and two helpers. Branden Fernandez (Warwick, N.Y.) dominated the face-off "X" by going 16-for-21 while picking up nine ground balls. Both Connor Nash (Burnt Hill, N.Y.) and Rob Maher (Katonah, N.Y.) played 30 minutes between the pipes, making eight saves each.

After two days of shuffling dates and sites due to overlapping snowstorms, Gordon and Springfield were finally able to compete in their annual early-season matchup. Surrounded by walls of snow on all four sides of the field, Gordon jumped out to the early lead on a goal by Jake Martin (Watertown, Conn.). Martin took the exchange from Michael Utz (Rochester, N.Y.) and buried the first score of the game only 45 ticks into the first quarter.

Springfield did not take very long to retaliate, as veteran midfield Colby Verge (Derry, N.H.) tucked the ball inside the post off Lynch's first helper of the afternoon.

Gordon would again take the lead at the 10:32 mark in the first quarter on an advantage goal by Jordan Heckelmann (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Martin found Heckelmann wide open in front of the goal, who pumped home a shot for the 2-1 lead.

Murphy and Brendan Boss (West Springfield, Mass.) each added unassisted goals in the final 10 minutes of the period, as the Pride took a 3-2 lead into the second quarter.

Kevin Freeman (Minisink, N.Y.) and Tony LaGuerre (Shrub Oak, N.Y.) went on a tear for the Pride to begin the second frame. Both midfielders struck with two goals each in a three-minute period at the very start of the quarter. Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.) added a fifth goal of the quarter for the Pride to cap off a seven-goal run with 9:31 remaining until the half.

The Scots responded with three consecutive goals of their own to end the half. Roger Evans (Oxford, Pa.) began the goal parade with an unassisted goal off a Pride turnover at the 7:52 mark in the second. Senior Dom Dantona (Syosset, N.Y.) made a nice defensive play at midfield and carried the ball all the way to goal himself to make it an 8-4 game.

Freshman Thor Rasmussen (Fairfax, Va.) added his first collegiate goal with four minutes to play in the first half on an unassisted goal from the right side of the field. Rasmussen shook his defender off in front of the crease and shot the ball past Maher into the left side of the net.

Springfield put the game out of reach to begin the third quarter as Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Dom Roberto (Malden, Mass.) each added two goals in the period, as the Pride outscored Gordon 7-1 to take a commanding 15-6 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Pride capped off their second seven-goal run of the game with two quick goals to start the fourth quarter and opened up a 17-6 lead. Gordon countered with three consecutive goals of their own, including Martin's second and third goals of the day.

Murphy picked up a hat-trick of his own in the final five minutes of the game, as the Pride ended the game on a three-goal run for a 20-9 victory on a cold opening day. Cody Greenwald (Albany, N.Y.) took the loss, while making 12 saves against a resilient Pride attacking half.

The Pride will travel to take on Nazareth this Saturday in a matchup with the Golden Flyers, who were ranked 10th in this week's USILA National Poll.

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Keith Bugbee Keith Bugbee enters his 31st season as head men's lacrosse coach at Springfield College in 2014. Under his direction, the Pride is one of the top programs in the country. Bugbee's coaching record stands at an impressive 327-157 (.676 winning percentage). Read more.

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