Springfield, Mass. - April 28, 2018 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team held Wheaton scoreless in the second half and prevailed over the Lyons, 13-3, in the Pride's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and regular-season final on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field. Leading the charge was a career-best seven points from Joe Hawley (Poulsbo, Wash.) and a 12-save effort from Jake Reynolds (Scituate, Mass.).
With the win, the Pride, which was ranked No. 11 in the latest NCAA Division III Regional Rankings, has now won its fifth-straight contest and improves to 11-5 overall with a 6-1 mark in league play. The loss drops Wheaton to 8-7 overall and 2-5 in the NEWMAC, as the Lyons season comes to a close. This marks the 10th time in the last 11 seasons that Springfield College has claimed at least a share of the NEWMAC Regular-Season title.
The Pride was able to produce 49 shots over the course of 60 minutes, as the Lyons were only able to muster up 33, 15 of which were on cage. Springfield College also dominated the ground ball battle, picking up 28 compared to Wheaton's 21. The maroon and white were also a perfect 23-for-23 on clears and converted three of its four man-up opportunities in the win.
Leading Springfield College was a career-best seven points from Hawley, as the sophomore recorded three goals and four assists, while Lucas Habich (Little Silver, N.J.) chipped in three goals of his own, all in the first half. JT Kapnis (Salem, Mass.) had a pair of caused turnovers in the win, while Matt D'Andrea (Cheshire, Conn.) had a game-high five ground balls, as he also went 10-for-16 at the face-off "x".
For Wheaton, Colin Walsh (Simsbury, Conn.) had 14 saves in the setback, while Matt Morgan (York, Maine) totaled a team-best four ground balls.
Morgan got Wheaton on the board first just 5:03 into the contest when he picked up a loose ball in front of the Pride's net and converted, before the Pride went on a four-goal run over 3:07, sparked by an unassisted strike from Hawley at the 9:07 mark. With 7:45 to play in the opening frame, Habich finished a feed from Jack Vail (Franklin, Mass.) with a behind-the-back goal, before Tom Hurley (Goffstown, N.H.) notched his first of the game just 35 seconds later to push the Pride's lead to a pair. With 6:00 on the clock, Hawly slid a pass to Cameron Glover (Brunswick, Maine) at the top of the box, before the junior burned one past Walsh to make it 4-1.
Wheaton would find the back of the net with 4:46 left in the first to cut its deficit in half, but the Pride finished out the frame with goals from Habich and Glover to give Springfield College a 6-2 edge after one.
Habich notched his third of the contest with 4:42 to play in the first half, as he took a Hawley feed and buried another behind-the-back shot, but Wheaton would answer with 1:16 to play in the second quarter, giving the Pride a 7-3 margin at the halftime break.
Coming out in the second half, Matt Allen (Chevy Chase, Md.) set up Hawley for his second of the game to make it 8-3 just 2:59 into the third quarter, before the sophomore connected with Zane Smallidge (Nyantic, Conn.), who recorded his first-career goal in transition, making it 9-3 with 4:50 on the clock. With 41 seconds left in the third quarter, Glover dished a pass to Duncan Preston (South Portland, Maine), who went low-to-high for his first of the day on man-up to give Springfield College a 10-3 cushion heading to the fourth.
The Pride did not let up in the final stanza as Vail finished off a pass from Hurley in transition after a great clearing heave from Reynolds to open the fourth, before Ray McCarthy (Somers, Conn.) notched a man-up goal with 9:46 on the clock. Hawley's third of the game, assisted by Allen with 2:39 remaining, sealed the Pride's 13-3 win over Wheaton.
Springfield College will now enter the NEWMAC Championship Tournament, and will compete in the NEWMAC Championship Tournament Semifinals on Wednesday, May 2.