Springfield, Mass. - April 29, 2009 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team put on an incredible offensive show in the opening 15 minutes of play, scoring 16 goals, as it defeated visiting Babson College, 24-4, in the Pilgrim Lacrosse League Championship semifinals on Wednesday evening at Stagg Field.
With the win, the Pride will move on to face second-seeded Wheaton, which downed MIT 14-7 in the other semifinal on Wednesday. Springfield now stands at 10-6 on the year, while Babson's season comes to a close with a 5-11 record.
SC set the tone early after Chris Jez won the opening face-off and connected with Jake Beebe for the game's first goal just five seconds into the contest. The visitors responded back as E.J. Peterson came from behind the cage and slipped a shot into the lower corner at the 14:21 mark, evening the contest. However, the Springfield offense was firing on all cylinders and then some as it pumped in six unanswered goals to take a 7-1 lead. The final goal of the run came after Pete Sessa took a feed from Joe Macchi and found the back of the net.
The Beavers then tallied what would be their last goal of the first half as Bryan Wilbur fired a shot into the cage after an unsettled situation off the ensuing face-off.
The Pride then poured in eight more goals in the final 6:25 of the first half to take a commanding 16-2 lead after 15 minutes of play. Nine different players tallied goals in the first quarter as the Pride put the semifinal bout out of reach.
Springfield netted four goals in the second quarter, including a pair from Jarrid Johnson to end the first half leading 21-2.
The second half scoring was slowed down considerably as the teams combined for just five goals in the last 30 minutes of play. Thomas Cykana and Paul Grip recorded goals for the visitors, while Tim Pastore, Mark Eaton, and Eric Balslov scored for the hosts.
Beebe and Pat Cavanaugh were dominant on attack for the Pride as each registered eight points in the win. Jez owned the "X", going 15-17 while scooping up 12 ground balls to go along with two goals and two assists. Sessa added a goal and two assists as well from his longstick midfielder position, while Joe Heney posted a goal and two helpers. Sam Burrell was terrific on defense as he locked up Babson's top threat, Peterson, forcing five turnovers and picking up four ground balls.
Tom Albano picked up the win as he played the first half, giving up two goals and making four saves. Matt Cipolla played in the second stanza and notched eight saves between the pipes.
Max Owen took the loss for Babson as he let in 13 goals and didn't record a save. Mike Saucier came in to relieve Owen and gave up 11 goals, but posted 10 saves. Wilbur finished with two points and added six ground balls for the Beavers.