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NCAA Game Day Central: Men's Lacrosse To Square Off Against Kean in NCAA Tournament

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - May 6, 2008 - For the seventh time in the last nine years, the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

After capturing the Pilgrim Lacrosse League Championship by defeating Wheaton 9-5 on Saturday, the Springfield College men's lacrosse team (10-6) earned an automatic berth into the 2008 NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Pride has since been awarded a first round home game and will take on Kean University Wednesday (May 7) at Stagg Field at 7:00 pm.

Admission will be charged to the contest and ticket prices are as follows:
Students with an ID- $3
Chldren under 12 - $1

Kean earned a berth into the tournament after knocking off top-seeded Montclair State, 8-7, in a come-from-behind win on Sunday en route to the Skyline Conference Championship. It is the Cougars' first Skyline title. Thus they earn the program's first trip to the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.

The Cougars, which captured the program's fifth title in school history after also winning four Knickerbocker Lacrosse Conference championships, also tie the program record for wins in a season (14-5) to match the 14 wins that the 1993 team (14-2) produced in winning the program's last Knickerbocker championship.

The Pride is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship in the past nine years. Including when it competed in Division II, this game marks the 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament. Springfield was last in the NCAA Tournament in 2006 when it traveled to take on Middlebury for a second round game, before falling by a score of 17-4. The last time that the men's lacrosse team hosted a first round game in the NCAA Tournament was in 2005 when it hosted Wesleyan.

Springfield cruised through the Pilgrim League with an unblemished record of 6-0 in league play. In the regular season, the Pride’s non-conference schedule was littered with some of the top teams in the country. Top open the season, Springfield lost three of its first five games by a combined four goals, before finishing off the season winning eight of its final eleven games. In fact, the Pride has won seven of its last eight games entering the tournament. This season, the Pride took on No. 15 Endicott, No. 13 Nazareth, No. 19 Stevens Tech, No. 12 Middlebury, No. 18 Bowdoin, and No. 16 Western New England. Of the 21 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament, the Pride has already faced three of them in the regular season, with games against Middlebury, Bowdoin, and WNEC.

Junior attack Jake Beebe (Sudbury, Mass.) has led the Pride on the offensive side of the ball this season with a team-best 52 points. Beebe has dished out a team-best 28 assists this year, to go along with 24 goals as he has started in all 16 games. To date, Beebe has recorded 155 points in his career off 82 goals and 73 assists. Kyle Gable (Somers, Conn.) has complemented Beebe on the Pride attack as he has found the back of the cage 23 times this year and added 12 assists. Rookie Kyle Louer (Islip, N.Y.) has been a nice addition in his first year at Springfield, recording 10 goals and four assists as a member of the Pride’s starting attack. Louer had a breakout game in the Pilgrim League Championship as he led the way with three goals and an assist in the win.

In the midfield, Tyler Montgomery (Brunswick, Maine) and Chris Jez (Somers, Conn.) have been impact players this season. Montgomery has netted a team-best 31 goals this season as a physical dodger who in total has tallied 35 points. A sniper in man-up opportunities, Montgomery leads the team with nine extra-man goals this season, as the Pride had a man-up conversion rate of 36.4%. Jez has been one of the Pride’s most consistent player this season, winning just over 59% of his face-offs from the “X”, going 169 for 286. He leads the team with 75 ground balls this year, has found the back of the net on five occasions, and has added two assists.

A rock-solid defense is anchored by five all-conference award winners. The close defense of Joe Malvezzi (Wilbraham, Mass.), Sam Burrell (Cumberland, Maine) and Mike Smith (South Hadley, Mass.) has been great all season, and has really turned it on as of late. Burrell, a first-team all-league selection, is a physical defender who has picked up 22 ground balls this season. Smith and Malvezzi, both Pilgrim League Second Team selections, had very solid years, with Smith scooping up 34 ground ball and 12 caused turnovers, and Malvezzi adding 15 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers.

A sensational athlete who was selected as the 2008 Pilgrim Lacrosse League Player of the Year, senior long stick midfielder Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) has powered the Pride’s defense this year. An impact player, Sharpe is second on the team with 64 ground balls and has a caused a team-best 30 turnovers. As the squad’s short-stick middie, Jason Farrell (Mahopac, N.Y.) has been outstanding this year, using his combination of speed and aggression to have a standout year for the Pride. Farrell has caused 20 turnovers and picked up 61 ground balls this year.

Tom Albano (Ridgewood, N.J.) has minded the net for the Pride this season in impressive fashion as he was recently named to the Pilgrim League All-Conference Second Team. Starting in all 16 contests, Albano has a goals against average of 7.76 this season, second best in the conference.

Head Coach Keith Bugbee has been at the helm of the Pride for the past 25 seasons. During his tenure as head coach, Bugbee has guided the Pride to 21 post-season tournaments, including capturing the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1994. This season, Bugbee led the Pride to its seventh league title in the past nine years. Since joining the Pilgrim Lacrosse League, Bugbee has guided Springfield to the Championship game all nine years. In his 25 years on the sidelines for Springfield, he has accumulated an impressive record of 266-121, good for a .687 winning percentage.

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Head Coach Keith Bugbee

Keith Bugbee Keith Bugbee enters his 31st season as head men's lacrosse coach at Springfield College in 2014. Under his direction, the Pride is one of the top programs in the country. Bugbee's coaching record stands at an impressive 327-157 (.676 winning percentage). Read more.

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