Springfield, Mass. – April 30, 2011 - The Springfield College men’s lacrosse team raced out to a 6-0 lead and didn’t look back as it claimed the Pilgrim Lacrosse League regular season title on Saturday after besting visiting MIT, 15-5, at Stagg Field.
The Pride, which now stands at 9-5, 5-0 in league play, has earned the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament which will begin on Wednesday. MIT drops to 5-7, 2-3.
For head coach Keith Bugbee, Saturday’s game marked another milestone as he became the all-time winningest coach in New England lacrosse history with his 301st career victory. Bugbee passes former UMass coaching legend Dick Garber, who had 300 career wins.
Springfield dominated the game in nearly every statistical category, outshooting the visitors 55-21, and winning 17-of-24 face-offs.
For the Pride, Harry Bernstein led the way with six points on three goals and three assists, all of which came in the first half. Mike Delia handed out five assists, while Shane Ferguson netted a hat trick. Both Shawn Runyon and Jarrid Johnson finished the afternoon with two goals and an assist. Robert Maher earned the win as he played three quarters in the cage, making three saves.
Christopher Rullan was spectacular in goal for the Engineers as he posted 22 saves in the loss. Dan Piemont paced the MIT attack with three goals, while Ben Hessels and Rullan each scored once.
Springfield opened up a 3-0 lead and forced MIT into a timeout after Eric Balslov converted a Bernstein feed from behind the cage 7:24 into the game. The Pride would then take advantage of three goals in a 43 second span to close out the opening quarter with a 6-0 lead. Ferguson started the run with a goal that ricocheted off the pipe and into the cage at the 49 second mark, before Runyon found the back of the cage off of an assist from Bernstein with 28 seconds left. Bernstein closed out the run with an unassisted marker with six seconds remaining.
The Engineers opened up the second quarter with three unanswered goals to get back within three at 6-3 with 8:18 to play in the half. Both Piemont and Hessels netted goals on physical, individual efforts, before Rullan made Springfield’s 10-man ride pay as he lobbed a shot from 40 yards out into an empty net.
Springfield regrouped and closed out the half with four-straight goals in the final 5:07 to go into the locker room with a 10-3 lead. Ferguson and Berstein scored 31 seconds apart, before Parker Geane buried a pair of impressive strikes just 12 seconds apart. Delia assisted on three of the four goals in the spurt.
The Pride blew open the game in the third quarter as it scored five goals while holding the visitors off the scoreboard. Austin Orsini scored two goals in the period for Springfield, including a brilliant man-up strike with 8:49 on the clock.
MIT scored the final two goals of the game in the fourth as Piemont connected for a pair of man-up goals at the 10:40 and 6:30 marks.