The Gulls are currently ranked 11th in the country in the latest USILA Coaches Poll, while the Pride is ranked 20th in the nation.
Led by a solid corps of returners, including 10 seniors, the 2009 men’s lacrosse team looks to build on its trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
Heading up the Pride’s offense, which returns 78% of its output last season, will be senior Pilgrim League First Team selection, Jake Beebe. Beebe powered the Pride attack last season as he tallied 65 points off 35 assists and 30 goals. In his sophomore campaign, Kyle Gable erupted for 26 goals and 13 assists to finish with 39 points, second only to Beebe. Joe Heney, who notched 20 points in’08, and the return of Pat Cavanaugh will give Springfield options on the offensive side of the ball.
Running the midfield in 2009 will once again be Chris Jez, who had a standout year at the face-off “X”, winning 57% of his draws and scooping up a team-best 82 groundballs. Jake Jones and Joe Macchi look to create offense out of the midfield as the duo combined for 38 points, including 29 goals last season. Kyle Louer, who tallied 18 points on attack last season as a freshman looks to also make an impact in the midfield.
Defensively the Pride looks to be very solid with the return of three senior all-league selections in first-teamer Sam Burrell, and second-team selections, Mike Smith and Tom Albano in the cage. Albano came into his own in the starting role in 2008, owning a 7.71 GAA average and making 184 saves.
Bugbee hopes that his large and talented recruiting class will be paying dividends come NCAA Tournament time in 2009.