Springfield, Mass. - April 25, 2012 - Seniors Shane Ferguson, Mike Delia, and Eric Balslov combined for eight goals to power the 15th-ranked Springfield College men's lacrosse team to a 10-5 victory over cross-town rival and 16th-ranked Western New England on Stagg Field Wednesday.
Springfield has now won its last seven contests to improve to 11-3, while Golden Bears had its five-game winning streak snapped to drop to 11-4.
The Pride's first midfield line had a standout day, with Ferguson pouring in four goals and two assists. Delia added two goals and a helper, while Balslov added two first quarter goals. Rob Maher continued to come up huge between the pipes, collecting 16 saves, including sixth in the fourth quarter. The defense was anchored by the outstanding effort of Tim Cimini, who finished with a game-high nine ground balls and scored his first collegiate goal.
For the Golden Bears, James Reardon was the lone player to register multiple points, tallying a goal and an assists. Joe Martin went 10-of-16 from the face-off "X" and picked up a team-best six ground balls. Starting goalie Brandon Body lasted just 7:35, giving up four goals while making one save. Brewster Knowlton played the final 52-plus minutes, making eight stops and surrendering six goals.
Springfield couldn't have asked for a better start, scoring four goals on their first seven saves. Balslov started the scoring off 1:34 into the game as he ran onto the field for his first shift and buried a shot into the lower corner. Ferguson added another goal 1:15 later, spinning off his defender and stinging the upper right corner from eight yards.
With 8:20 on the clock, Balslov added his second, skimming a shot that found the back of cage of an inside look from Ferguson. Delia capped off Springfield’s terrific start, ripping a shot into the top shelf from 10 yards out, chasing Body.
Reardon scored the visitors first goal of the contest 2:13 into the second, converting a Joe O’Keefe feed that found the back of the net. Ferguson answered back with Springfield’s only goal of the second quarter, firing a shot on the run from 15 yards out.
The Golden Bears scored the final two goals of the stanza to make it a 5-3 game after 30 minutes of lacrosse. Nick Jez beat Maher low for a man-up goal assisted by Reardon with 8:51 on the clock before Sean Lawton skipped a shot from 15 yards away with just 18 seconds remaining.
Ferguson tallied his hat trick with 9:08 to go in the third, blazing a shot a step inside the restraining box off a Delia pass. At the 5:28 mark, Ryon Lynch fed Ferguson from behind the cage, and Ferguson made a great catch before scoring on the crease while getting hit.
The Pride then stretched its lead to five, on a goal by Tyler O’Keefe. The senior longstick midfielder made the most of a failed WNE clear, finding the back of the cage in transition with 3:40 on the clock. The visitors tallied their only goal of the third with 1:57 on the clock, using a marker from Andrew Mariani that found the bottom right corner.
Delia handed the Pride back its five-goal cushion with a spectacular individual effort, beating his man and sniping a shot from eight yards out just 12 seconds remaining.
Springfield’s only goal of the fourth was certainly a highlight. Cimini scooped up a ground ball off another Maher save, and took the ball coast to coast, blistering a shot from 15 yards out. WNE’s leading scorer Pat White scored the game's final goal with 4:40 left in regulation.
Springfield can clinch the top-seed in the upcoming Pilgrim League Tournament on Saturday if it picks up a road win at Babson. Face-off is set for 6:00 pm.