Springfield, Mass. - March 14, 2015 - Despite a valiant fourth-quarter rally, the Springfield College men's lacrosse team was defeated by Union College, 9-8, on a rainy Stagg Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Dutchmen, which entered the game ranked fourth in the latest USILA National Poll, improve to 5-0 on the year, while Springfield's record dips to 2-3.
Union held a 35-27 edge in shots, including a 24-9 edge in the first half, while the Pride's Mark Gonzalez (Tolland, Conn.) won 12-of-20 face-offs, including 7-of-9 in the second half.
Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.) led Springfield with two goals and an assist in the loss, while Tony LaGuerre (Shrub Oak, N.Y.) and Dom Abate (Beverly, Mass.) each netted a pair of goals. Matt Dalton (Somers, N.Y.) scooped up seven ground balls and Kevin Ostrom (Barnstable, Mass.) made nine stops in the cage.
Union was led by Charlie Ross, who scored four goals in the game and Nolan Stauffer who registered four assists. Richard Gregory and Tom Stanton each snagged five ground balls apiece, and Stefan Basile needed to make seven saves in goal in earn the win.
Springfield got off to a terrific start as it roared out to a 3-0 lead to begin the first quarter. Sheehan opened the scoring as he ripped a shot into the top shelf from 10 yards out off a great feed from Brendan Boss (West Springfield, Mass.) just under four minutes into the game. The Pride doubled its lead with 8:55 to go in the first as Jamey Conley (Waltham, Mass.) got free with a split dodge and skipped in a shot from five yards out, forcing the visitors into a timeout.
The Pride added a man-up goal from Kevin Dean (Westhampton, N.Y.) along the crease off an assist from Kevin Sainte (Lexington, Mass.) with 2:37 on the clock, only to have Union close out the first quarter scoring on an strike by Ross.
Union scored twice in the opening 1:03 of the second quarter to even the match, getting goals from Ross and Stanton. Springfield regained the lead with 6:51 remianing in the first half as Abate wrapped around the cage to give the Pride a 4-3 lead.
It was a wild final two minutes as the visitors scored three times, including twice in the waning seconds, as they took a 6-4 lead into the locker room. Gregory started the burst as he picked up a ground ball following a sensational Ostrom save and stuffed in his shot on the crease. Kyle Mason put the Dutchmen ahead as he skipped in a long range shot with nine seconds left and Ross beat the buzzer off a 50-yard pass from Connor Hall following a face-off win.
Union continued its strong offensive play with the first two goals of the second half on strikes from Ross and Cam Slatton. Springfield broke its scoring drought on a tremendous goal from Sheehan with 2:54 left the third as he stung the top corner off a pass from Tom Hurley (Goffstown, N.H.). Union was flagged for a two-minute slashing penalty on the goal, but the Dutchmen were able to make the most of it, scoring a man-down goal by Peter Richardson with 1:29 left in the third.
Springfield put together a spirited rally in the final quarter, with Abate netting his second of the day 46 seconds into the frame as he backed his man down, before skipping in shot to get within 9-6. The Pride then went to LaGuerre down the stretch as he pumped in a man-up strike at 6:56 before finishing in traffic 52 seconds later to make it a one-goal game.
The teams traded a pair of possesions, setting up Springfield's final push as it called for timeout with nine seconds left in regulation. Out of the break, Union's Michael Froman intercepted a feed into the crease as the Dutchmen held on for the win.
Up next, the Pride will take on St. Lawrence in a non-conference matchup as part of its spring break trip to Orlando, Fla.