SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- May 5, 2007 -- For the first time since 2002, the Western New England College men’s lacrosse team is going to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Senior co-captain Adam Cherry (Westfield, Mass.) scored three goals and junior goalie Chris Body (Newtown, Conn.) stopped 15 shots as the No. 3 Golden Bears held on for an exciting 8-6 victory over city-rival Springfield College Saturday (May 5) before 1,350 fans in the championship game of the Pilgrim League Tournament.
Western New England College raised its record to 16-0 and ended Springfield’s four-year reign as conference tournament champion. The Pride had captured the tourney crown by one goal over the Golden Bears the last three years.
Springfield took a 1-0 lead 33 seconds into the game on a goal by sophomore Chris Jez (Somers, Conn). WNEC tied the contest only 1:18 later when senior Rob Ostrem (West Islip, N.Y.) hit the back of the net with an assist from junior Jon Hayes (Waltham, Mass.). The Golden Bears then tallied four more times, including a pair of goals in a nine-second span with two minutes left in the period to take a 5-1 lead after the opening 15 minutes.
Both teams traded scores in the second and third quarters before the Pride ran off three straight goals to get within 7-6 following a shot by sophomore Skyler Wiemokly (Amherst, Mass.) with 4:31 left in the contest. Two of SC’s goals came in a 28-second span with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Western New England College junior Tim Heffernan (Glastonbury, Conn.) added a huge insurance goal with Hayes receiving his second assist with 2:42 left and the Pride couldn’t recover. Junior Bryan Cofrin (Londonderry, N.H.) added a goal and two assists while junior co-captain Mike Kelly (Cheshire, Conn.) and classmate Ben Reardon (Longmeadow, Mass.) had the other goals. Body had six of his saves in the final quarter in a solid performance.
Senior Adam Toutain (Sabattus, Me.), juniors Tyler Montgomery (Brunswick, Me.) and Greg Welch (Peabody, Mass.), and freshman Joe Heney (Plainview, N.Y.) also scored the Pride. Senior goalie Kyle Cloutier (South Hadley, Mass.) compiled 12 saves to keep the visitors in the game.
The Western New England College defense held Springfield sophomore and leading scorer Jake Beebe (Sudbury, Mass.) (53 points) to only an assist. Last year, he netted the winning shot in the 12-11 double overtime victory. The Pride ends its season with an 8-9 record.
Springfield College Pride
Goals – Joe Heney, Chris Jez, Tyler Montgomery, Adam Toutain, Greg Welch, Skyler Wiemokly
Assist – Jake Beebe
Saves – Kyle Cloutier 12
Western New England College Golden Bears
Goals – Adam Cherry 3, Brian Cofrin, Tim Heffernan, Mike Kelly, Rob Ostrem, Ben Reardon
Assists – Brian Cofrin 2, Jon Hayes 2
Saves – Chris Body 15