Springfield, Mass. - May 2, 2012 - Ryon Lynch tallied a goal and three assists and Eric Baslov found the back of the cage three times to lead the top-seeded Springfield College men's lacrosse team to a 12-2 win over MIT in the Pilgrim Lacrosse League Tournament Semifinals on Wednesday night at Stagg Field.
Springfield has now won its last nine-straight to improve to 13-3 on the season. The Engineers dropped to 7-8 with the loss.
The top-seeded Pride will square off against second-seeded Wheaton on Saturday at 1:00 pm with a trip to the NCAA Championship on the line. Wheaton earned a spot in the final thanks to a 7-5 victory over third-seeded Babson earlier on Wednesday. Springfield has won the last four Pilgrim Lacrosse League titles.
Rob Maher continued to play well between the pipes, limiting the Engineers to just two goals while making seven saves. Ryan Murphy and Dylan Sheehan each scored twice, while Mike Delia added two scores and a helper. Branden Fernandez had a game-high seven ground balls as he won 11-of-14 draws.
Christopher Rullan made 13 saves in goal for MIT. Ernie Park was credited with a goal and an assist, while Bill Kelleher potted the other MIT marker. Mike Gibson also had an assist on the night and Elliot Sykora caused two turnovers.
It was MIT that found the back of the cage first 4:56 into the contest. Park caught a pass from Gibson on the crease and beat Maher low to give the visitors an early lead. The lead was short lived as Lynch answered right back for the Pride, bouncing in a shot 52 seconds later to even the game.
MIT controlled the ball for much of the first half, holding the ball for long stretches in the offensive end. However, Springfield was able to take a 2-1 lead after 15 minutes of play thanks to a man-up goal from Balslov with 1:34 remaining off a great look from Shane Ferguson.
Balslov added another man-up strike, winding up and stinging the top shelf from 10 yards out 1:24 into the second. 52 seconds later, Sheehan added a spectacular strike, spinning off his defender after a tight inside look from Lynch, forcing MIT into the game’s first timeout with the score 4-1.
Following a Rullan save, the Engineers got out in transition quick and took just 11 seconds to go the length of the field for a goal. Park found Kelleher on the crease, who stuffed home a shot to make it a two-goal game. at the 10:52 mark
Springfield pushed its lead to four heading into halftime on a pair of goals from Murphy. After Lynch forced a turnover on Rullan trying to clear the ball, Murphy picked up the ground ball and fired in an empty net goal from 20 yards out at 9:03. 4:06 later, Murphy came from around the goal and blasted a shot that clanged off the post before finding its way across the goal line.
The Pride took control of the game for good in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors 4-0. Sheehan, Mike Donoghue, Delia, and Balslov all scored for the Pride, who enjoyed a 10-2 cushion after 45 minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter, Springfield added the final two goals. Delia scored a man-down goal with 11:31 to play thanks to the great transition play of Tyler O’Keefe, and Matt Basile tacked on the Pride's third man-up goal of the night with 3:30 left.
Springfield outshot the Engineers 45-17, including 38-11 over the final three quarters. The Pride won 14-of-18 face-offs and held MIT to just 11-of-23 on clears. Springfield score on all three of their man-up attempts, while holding MIT off the scoreboard for all three of their man-up chances.