Springfield, Mass. - February 26, 2011 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team used a 6-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarter to power past Nazareth College, 11-8, on Stagg Field on Saturday afternoon.
Springfield improves to 2-0 on the season as it beat the Golden Flyers for the first time in program history after dropping the last seven meetings. Nazareth, which entered the game ranked 17th in the country in the USILA preseason poll, drops to 0-1.
The Pride's first midfield line was the difference in the contest as Shawn Runyon, Shane Ferguson, and Kyle Louer combined for eight goals and three assists. Runyon tallied three goals and an assist, Ferguson tacked on two goals and two helpers, while Louer pumped home three strikes. Mike Delia did a solid job running Springfield's offense from behind the cage as he dished out three assists. Mark Eaton went 12-of-20 from the "X" and picked up seven ground balls. A pair of freshmen continued to split time between the pipes. Robert Maher made six saves and gave up five goals in the first half, while Connor Nash earned the win in the second half, posting five saves while holding Nazareth to just three goals.
For the visitors, Joe Jacobs-Ferderbar tallied a team-best four points off two goals and two assists, while Scott Castle (2g, 1a) and C.J. Estes (1g, 2a) each added three points. Kyle McLean won 7-of-20 face-offs and picked up a team-best five ground balls. Tim Doyle shouldered the loss as he gave up eight goals while making six saves in just over 41 minutes of action. Grant Williams played the final 18-plus minutes and made five saves while surrendering three goals.
Nazareth jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Brian Wright and Jacobs-Ferderbar connected from the left wing 15 seconds apart just 2:38 into the game. However, Eaton went on to win the final five draws of the quarter as Springfield found its offensive rhythm. The Pride then poured in four goals in a 2:20 span to snag a 4-2 lead. Runyon scored consecutive goals, including a man-up strike, before Louer and Jarrid Johnson found the back of the cage to give the visitors a two-goal cushion just six minutes into the game.
Louer evened the game at five-all after he beat his man to the right and ripped a shot down low 1:00 into the second half. Jacobs-Ferderbar answered right back with an unassisted strike 17 seconds later, for what would prove to be Nazareth's last lead of the game.
Springfield then rattled off three-straight goals in a 2:20 span as Ferguson, Johnson, and Parker Geane all beat Doyle as the Pride once again opened up a two-goal lead at 8-6. Delia was masterful in the spurt as he connected on two assists for Springfield. Castle ended the spurt for Nazareth as he beat Nash low to make it a one-goal game with 3:12 on the clock. Out of timeout, Ferguson stung the top corner for the eventual game-winner with 33 seconds remaining in the quarter to give the hosts a 9-7 lead after three quarters of play.
Louer muscled his way for a goal around the crease 51 seconds into the fourth, before Runyon was the beneficiary of some great ball movement as Springfield opened up an 11-7 lead with 13:31 remaining in regulation. Estes scored the game's final goal at the 5:57 mark on an unsettled situation as Springfield held on for the 11-8 victory.
Springfield held a 44-42 advantage in shots and a 36-25 edge in ground balls. Springfield won 14-of-23 face-offs, but committed 21 turnovers in the game. Both teams recorded 11 saves in the game.
Springfield will look to continue its winning ways on Wednesday when it travels to square off against Endicott at 4:00 pm.