Springfield, Mass. - February 23, 2019 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team put together a tremendous season-opening performance as it raced past visiting Nazareth College, 19-7, on Saturday afternoon on Stagg Field.
The win pushed the Pride's record to 1-0, while the Golden Flyers dropped to 0-1.
Joe Hawley (Poulsbo, Wash.) erupted for a career-best outing as he pumped in seven goals to go along with two assists, while teammate Tommy Nash (Massapequa, N.Y.) added three goals and two helpers. Between the pipes, Cole Finerty (Kensington, N.H.) was tremendous, making a career-best 22 stops and Joseph Cameron (Stoneham, Mass.) went 14-for-23 from the face-off "X" and picked up seven ground balls. For the game, the Pride held a 42-41 advantage in shots and a 34-32 edge in ground balls in winning 16-of-29 faceooffs.
Springfield got off to a great start as Nash buried the season's first goal just 1:26 into the contest off a great look from Hawley, only to have the Golden Flyers register a man-up goal by Anthony Baslie 47 seconds later. The Pride won the ensuing faceoff and Cameron Glover (Brunswick, Maine) found Nash for another strike from 12 yards out, which gave Springfield the lead for good at the 12-minute mark. Cole Pecora (North Haven, Conn.) would score in transition with 9:13 on the clock to give Springfield a two-goal cushion, and after Nazareth added a man-up goal from Jack Crowley at 6:56, the Pride's Jack Vail (Franklin, Mass.) closed out the first-quarter scoring with an unassisted marker with 14 ticks left in the frame.
Lucas Habich (Little Silver, N.J.) went low for the Pride's fifth goal of the game just 1:19 into the second quarter, but the visitors would answer at the 11:24 mark when Matthew Vanliew wrapped around the cage to make it a 5-3 contest. The rest of the quarter belonged to the Pride as unassisted goals from Glover, Nash, and Hawley in the final 9:22 allowed the hosts to take an 8-3 lead into the break. Finerty was tremendous in the opening 30 minutes of play, making 12 saves, including eight in the first quarter.
After Nazareth opened up the second-half scoring with an unassisted goal by Walker Denton at 10:30, Habich answered right back 28 seconds later to kickstart a three-goal surge which gave the Pride an 11-4 lead with 7:01 left in the third. The Golden Flyers netted another man-up goal at 5:03 by Basile and tacked on another from Drew McKearney 24 seconds later to make it a five-goal game as the Pride called a timeout.
However, out of the break, Hawley took the game over, scoring five goals in the next 8:25 of game action, as the Pride poured in eight-consecutive goals to have its lead balloon to 19-6 with 4:19 left in regulation. The hosts scored seven goals on 13 shots in the final quarter and picked up the 19-7 non-conference win to kick off the 2019 campaign.
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Photo by Mark Finerty