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Johnson's Late Strike Lifts Men's Lacrosse Over Bowdoin, 12-11

Mike Delia Box Score

Exeter, N.H. – March 30, 2011 – Jarrid Johnson scored the game-winning goal with 36 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team to a thrilling 12-11 win over Bowdoin at Exeter High School in non-conference play on Wednesday night.

Springfield has now won its last two games to improve to 4-3, while the Polar Bears drop to 2-4. Both teams were among those squads receiving votes in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll. It marked Springfield's first win over Bowdoin since 2005.

With the score tied at 11 all with under three minutes to play, Springfield put forth a furious offensive push, but Bowdoin goalie Robert Burkhardt made four consecutive saves to keep the game tied. However, Johnson finally broke free as he used his body to get some space from his man and ripped a shot from 10 yards out for the winner.

Mike Delia led Springfield with four goals and an assist, while Johnson pumped in three goals and an assist. Harry Bernstein added two goals and an assist and Shane Ferguson tacked on a goal and an assist. Connor Nash posted 13 saves in the win, none bigger than his game-saving stop with 10 seconds on the clock.

Owen Smith paced the Polar Bears with four goals, and Billy Bergner posted a goal and two helpers. Michael Bottinelli surrendered seven goals in the first half while making three saves, and despite his strong efforts in the second half, Burkhart took the loss after giving up five goals and making nine saves. Brendan Hughes had a strong day at the “X” going 12-19 as Bowdoin finished the game winning 14-of-25 draws.

Springfield held a 43-38 advantage in shots, and a 40-33 edge in ground balls.

Springfield wasted little time scoring the game’s opening goal as Johnson buried a shot into the back of the cage just 30 seconds into the contest. Smith then answered back for the Polar Bears at the 10:57 mark after he picked up a loose ground ball and ripped a shot from 10 yards out . Bowdoin then took its only lead of the first half after Ben Chadwick found the bottom corner on the run from 15 yards out with 3:52 on the clock.

From there, the Pride poured on five consecutive goals to open up a 6-2 lead after Bernstein converted a pass from Johnson which threaded the Bowdoin defense at the 9:14 mark of the second quarter. Ferguson had a brilliant goal in the run for the Pride with 18 seconds left in the first quarter as he took a Bernstein feed and connected on a behind-the-back shot along the crease.

However, the Polar Bears wouldn’t go away as they scored three of the final four goals of the second quarter to go into the half trailing 7-5. Smith scored the last goal of the opening 30 minutes of play on an outstanding strike as he hit the top shelf on the run from 15 yards out.

Bowdoin continued its strong play with the first four tallies of the four quarter to take a 9-7 lead. Smith connected on a pair of strikes in the run for the Polar Bears, the last coming with 6:40 left in the quarter.

Springfield would finally find the back of the cage for the first time in over 18 minutes after Austin Orsini slipped in a man-up strike at the 3:02 mark. Bowdoin was flagged for a dead ball foul on the goal, and Springfield maintained possession and made the most of it. Delia blew past his man from behind the cage and found the bottom corner of the next to even the game at nine as he scored Springfield's second goal in 30 seconds. The Pride then completed its three-goal spurt on another Delia unassisted marker with 11 seconds left in the quarter.

A quick strike by Bowdoin's Franklin Reis tied the score at 10 with 8:35 remaining, only to have Bernstein convert in transition after Tyler O’Keefe forced a turnover 1:20 later. A Bergner man-up goal tied the game once again with 4:45 left in the game, setting up Johnson’s last minute heroics.

Springfield will open up Pilgrim Lacrosse League play on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Babson at 3:00 pm.

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