SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 18, 2007 – In another barn burner between two top city rivals, third-ranked Western New England College (WNEC) held on for a thrilling 10-9 men’s lacrosse victory over visiting Springfield College Wednesday afternoon in a battle of unbeaten Pilgrim League teams.
The Golden Bears kept their perfect record intact by moving to 11-0 overall and 5-0 in the league. The Pride falls to 5-8 after losing its first league game in six outings.
Junior attack Bryan Cofrin led Western New England with three goals and two assists. He scored what proved to be the winning score with 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. Junior midfielder Jon Hayes also tallied three goals, while senior attack Adam Cherry notched two goals and a pair of assists.
Freshman attack Kyle Gable (Somers, Conn.) led SC with three goals and an assist, while sophomore attack Jake Beebe (Sudbury, Mass.) also scored three times. Junior midfielder Greg Welch (Peabody, Mass.) added a goal and two assists.
WNEC led 2-1 after the opening period and 6-3 at halftime in the hard-hitting contest. The Golden Bears led by four goals twice in the third period, the last time at 8-4, when Cherry fired home a shot at the 6:04 mark. The Pride came back to get within 9-6 entering the final stanza.
SC rallied when Beebe and Welch scored in 2:30 span early in the fourth quarter to move within 9-8 with 10:32 remaining in the game. Cofrin then hit the back of the net with an assist from Cherry on a man-up situation just 38 seconds later to put the Golden Bears up 10-8.
The Pride roared back when Gable blasted a shot with an assist from senior midfielder Adam Toutain (Sabattus, Me.) with 7:01 left in the game, but neither team could find the back of the net for the remainder of regulation.
WNEC junior goalie Chris Body finished with seven saves, including a key stop late in the final period to preserve the victory. SC senior goalie Kyle Cloutier (South Hadley, Mass.) had a solid performance compiling 11 saves.
Last season WNEC defeated the Pride (10-5) in the regular season match-up, but dropped a 12-11 double overtime decision to SC in the Pilgrim League Tournament championship game. The Pride will next play at Wheaton College in yet another league tilt on Saturday afternoon, April 21st, at 4:00 p.m.