Middlebury, Vt. - March 16, 2011 - The Springfield College men's lacrosse team rallied from a four-goal deficit to get within one in the fourth quarter but could complete its comeback as Middlebury College held on for a 13-9 win in non-conference action on Wednesday afternoon.
Middlebury, which was ranked fifth in the country in this week's USILA Division III National poll, improves to 2-0 on the season. Springfield, which was among those teams receiving votes, has now lost three straight games to fall to 2-3 on the year.
Parker Geane scored three goals for the second-consecutive game, while Jarrid Johnson added two goals and an assist. Longstick midfielder Tyler O'Keefe found the back of the cage twice and both Mike Delia and Shawn Runyon registered a goal and an assist.
At the face-off "X", Mark Eaton dominated, winning 16-of-24 draws and picking up a game-high 10 ground balls. Between the pipes for the Pride, Connor Nash went the distance, recording 12 saves.
Middlebury owned a 40-29 advantage in shots, including a 16-5 edge in the decisive second quarter. The Pride managed to go just 14-24 on clear attempts, compared to the Panthers 20-24 performance. On defense, Springfield's man-down unit limited Middlebury to just 1-6 on man-up opportunities.
Springfield took their first and only lead of the game in the first quarter when Runyon scored for a 2-1 lead. Middlebury’s John McGoldrick scored the equalizer in the final minute of the first quarter off a feed from David Hild, starting a four-goal run by the Panthers.
Andrew Conner continued the run at 13:51 in the second quarter with a driving bounce shot before Hild capped the run with a pair of goals, including an impressive dodge from the left side for a 5-2 advantage with 9:00 remaining before the break. The teams exchanged scores before Middlebury’s Tim Cahill scored off a great feed from Mike Giordano for a 7-3 lead with 3:52 left.
O’Keefe answered for the Pride after collecting a ground ball and slipping one past Panther goalie Ryan Deane just over a minute later. Cahill and Giordano collaborated on the final goal of the half as a cutting Cahill collected a cross-crease pass from Giordano for a man-up tally with 1:15 left.
Trailing 8-4 entering the third quarter, Springfield scored a pair of five-hole goals as Johnson notched his second goal of the game at 11:06. Forty-five seconds later, Delia’s score cut the Middlebury lead to 8-6. Both teams exchanged tallies before McGoldrick and Hild exchanged roles, as Hild notched his third of the game off a doorstep feed from McGoldrick for a 10-7 lead with 1:13 left in the third.
Springfield opened the fourth with another two-goal spurt including a man-down tally by Geane, making it a 10-9 game with 14:01 left to play. Conner answered for Middlebury with a clutch move to the crease at 13:07 for a two-goal advantage. Hild added the final two goals of the game, the first at 10:56 on a physical move to the cage, followed up by a nice dodge at 6:35 for a 13-9 advantage and some breathing room.
Hild led all scorers with five goals and an assist, while Conner added a hat trick and Giordano scored a goal while dishing out a pair of assists for Middlebury. Deane made nine saves for Middlebury in the net.
Springfield will now head south to take on Keene State in Orlando, Florida on Saturday at 2:00 pm.