Springfield, Mass. – March 8, 2009 – Shawn Runyon notched three goals and an assist, including the game-winner with 3:13 left in regulation as the Springfield College men's lacrosse team knocked off 14th-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Stagg Field in non-conference action.
Springfield, which has won two-straight games after dropping the first two of the 2009 campaign, improves to 2-2 while the Ducks drop to 1-2. This marks the second-straight year that Springfield and Stevens have played a game to the wire. Last season, Springfield rallied from a 9-1 deficit to defeat then-No. 19 Stevens, 10-9.
Runyon, a sophomore midfielder who scored just three goals last year in his first year for the Pride, erupted for three goals and an assist in a breakout game. With the score tied at seven-all, Runyon scooped up a ground ball at the top of the restraining box, dodged to his right, and ripped a shot into the lower corner of the net for a sensational game-winning goal.
The Pride’s defense played strong all day and was led by goalie Tom Albano. Albano posted 16 saves in the victory, including 11 in the opening 30 minutes of play.
Stevens tallied the lone goal of the first quarter at the 12:11 mark after causing a Springfield turnover and getting the ball quickly up field in transition. Matt Keating received the ball on the left side of the crease and zipped a pass to Chris Laurita on the other side of the crease, who found the back of the cage.
Pat Cavanaugh tied the game 1:29 into the second period after a terrific individual effort. Cavanaugh took the ball from behind the cage and wrapped around, firing a shot that beat Ducks keeper Dave Decker for Springfield’s first goal of the game.
Runyon notched his first goal of the game 1:34 later to give SC a 2-1 lead after he dodged to the right and buried a shot into the bottom left corner of the cage. On the ensuing face-off, Chris Jez won the draw and raced towards the cage, only to have the ball knocked loose from a check by Brandon Faulbert. Cavanaugh picked up the loose ball all alone in front of the cage and netted his second goal of the game to give SC a two-goal advantage.
A Joe Macchi goal marked the Pride’s third unanswered goal as he beat his man to the inside and buried a shot with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Ducks responded with three straight goals of their own in a five-minute span to tie the game at four. Bobby Steinhauser started off the scoring as he cranked a shot from eight yards out after Alex Heckman reversed the field and found Steinhauser open to his left. Keating followed that up with a strike at the 5:25 mark as he finished a feed from J.R. Oreskovich. Stevens' final goal of the three-goal spurt came as Laurita split a pair of Springfield defenders with a terrific spin move and delivered his second goal of the first half.
The Pride closed out its five-goal second period as Cavanaugh fed a wide-open Jake Jones from behind the cage with 2:03 on the clock, giving Springfield a 5-4 lead at the half.
Laurita tied the game at five after he slipped a shot in the back of the net for his third goal of the game 4:34 into the third quarter. Jake Beebe put Springfield back on top after he took an outstanding pass from Runyon, put a pair of fakes on Decker, and notched his first point of the afternoon. The third quarter ended in a six-all tie after Oreskovich blasted a shot into the top net with 1:01 on the clock.
Runyon put Springfield back on top after he shook his defender with a great move to his right and and found the top of the net 1:43 in the final period. Keating tied the game up for the visitors after he picked up a ground ball in front of the goal after Albano made a save, and notched his second goal of the game. Stevens continued to pour on the pressure as they outshot Springfield, 7-4, in the final quarter, but Springfield's defense hung tough, setting up Runyon's late-game heroics.
The Ducks had a final chance to tie the game after forcing a Springfield turnover with 13 seconds left on the clock. After a long clear, Joey Simone flicked a loose ball off the ground from five yards out, only to have Albano snuff out Stevens' final chance. The Ducks got the ball back with just three seconds to go but were unable to muster another shot as the Pride held on for the one-goal victory.
Jez finished with six ground balls, while Sam Burrell was solid on defense, causing four turnovers and holding Oreskovich, a Preseason First-Team All-American, to just a goal and an assist. For the visitors, Tom Iadanza caused five turnovers and Keating posted a team-best six ground balls.
The Pride has a 10-day layoff and will not play again until Wednesday, March 18th when it travels to take on No. 4 Middlebury. Face-off is slated for 4:30 pm.