Springfield, Mass. - May 1, 2013 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team advanced to its 14th-consecutive Pilgrim League Championship on Wednesday evening after it defeated MIT, 13-4, on Stagg Field.
Springfield, which is now 10-8 on the season, will face second-seeded Babson in the championship game on Saturday. MIT falls to 5-10 with the setback.
Ryan Murphy led the Springfield attack with a goal and three helpers, while both Ryon Lynch and Matt Fleisher produced two goals and two assists. Tony LaGuerre registered two goals and an assist and Bryce Serriello found the back of the net twice. Connor Nash was strong between the pipes with 10 saves in 60 minutes of action, and Sean Doolady won 11-of-17 face-offs.
The story of the game was MIT's goalie Christopher Rullan, who turned away 20 shots and added a team-best seven ground balls in the defeat. Graham Francis recorded two goals and an assist to lead the Engineers offense, and Luke Verdi posted a goal and an assist.
For the game, Springfield held a 51-17 advantage in shots and a 27-16 edge in ground balls. MIT was limited to just 7-for-21 on clears, while the Pride went 21-for-23 from the "X".
After the first 15 minutes of play, Springfield held just a 1-0 lead as Rullan was tremendous between the pipes for the Engineers. The senior netminder registered seven saves in the frame, and was beat just once by LaGuerre’s bounce shot with 4:31 on the clock.
Springfield added to its lead 2:23 into the second quarter after a quick restart, as Fleisher stung the top corner off a feed from Murphy. After Dom Roberto caused a turnover on an Engineer clear, the Pride quickly made their way down the field, setting up a Colby Verge low strike from 10 yards out at the 5:22 mark.
MIT finally got on the board as Sean Burke broke free on a clear and fired home a shot on the run just 52 seconds later. However, with time winding down in the half, LaGuerre delivered a great inside look out of a timeout on the crease to Lynch for a score with 17 ticks on the clock.
The Engineers scored the first goal of the second half when Francis spun free from a defender at the 12:22 mark. However, Springfield's offense finally started to figure out Rullan, and put together three unanswered goals from Fleisher, Lynch, and Serriello to take a 7-2 lead with 4:24 on the clock.
Verdi cut the scoring streak beating Nash between the legs from 12 yards out, only to have the Pride once again string together three-straight markers for 10-3 cushion. Matt Dalton capped off the burst with a goal off a quick restart with his longpole with 3:52 left.
Francis scored MIT's last goal of the year at 3:25 before Springfield poured on three markers from Murphy, Devin Abad, and LaGueere in a 1:51 second span for the 13-4 final margin.