Beverly, Mass. - May 11, 2011 - Despite a late fourth-quarter push, the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team’s season came to a close after dropping a 6-5 decision at Endicott College in the NCAA Division III Championship First Round on Wednesday afternoon.
Springfield’s year ends with an 11-6 record, while the Gulls now stand at 16-4. Endicott will now advance to the second round and travel south to square off against the nation's top-ranked team, Salisbury University. That game is slated for Saturday, May 14.
Leading the way for the gulls was Chris Cotter, who poured in a game-high three goals, which Connor McCormack found the back of the cage twice. Mike Klein totaled 12 saves in goal, including nine in the first half. Robert Crossett caused three turnovers and picked up seven ground balls in the win.
For the Pride, Parker Geane scored two goals, while Harry Bernstein posted a goal and an assist. Connor Nash tied his career high with 14 saves for the second-straight game. Vinny Senatore caused four turnovers and Tim Cimini scooped up a team-best six ground balls.
Endicott wasted little time netting the game’s opening goal as Cotter stung the bottom left corner of the cage just 48 seconds into the contest. The Gulls added to their lead when Cotter struck again, this time with 3:37 remaining in the quarter as he dodged to his right and bounced in a shot.
Klein made six saves in the opening 15 minutes of play, including a pair of tremendous saves on the doorstep, as the hosts held onto a two-goal advantage.
After great caused turnover by Andrew Pochebit, Endicott’s troops got down the field in a hurry and converted as McCormack bounced a shot from 10 yards out over the right shoulder of Nash to give Endicott a 3-0 lead with 13:28 to go in the second.
With 8:01 left in the first half, Springfield finally got on the board as Matt Hudson broke free from his man and ripped a shot from eight yards out to make it a 3-1 game.
After a long offensive possession and the stall warning in place, Brendan Eppley spun through a pair of physical checks and slipped home a shot from five yards with just 13 ticks on the clock as the Gulls took a 4-1 lead into the half.
Endicott registered the first goal of the second half at the 11:57 mark. Connor Prescott threaded the Springfield defense with a pass to McCormack on the crease, who finished the goal with a pair of impressive moves.
Springfield answered back at 9:03 when Bernstein fired a cross crease pass to Jarrid Johnson, who quick-sticked a goal home from the left side. Bernstein then added Springfield’s second goal inside a minute at the 8:08 mark when he let loose a rocket into the top right corner after a great look by Delia.
The Gulls scored their first goal in nearly 17 minutes on a pretty strike by Cotter which proved to be the game winner. Jack Curtis found Cotter all alone in front of the cage, and Cotter finished a behind-the-back shot for his third goal as Endicott regained its three-goal cushion.
Geane tacked on the Pride’s fourth goal with 1:06 left in play as he stuck a shot inside the near post. Geane would continue to provide the late push for Springfield as he scored again with 18.6 seconds left after Shawn Runyon blistered a feed towards the crease, which Geane caught and finished up top after a pair of fakes.
Sam Ozycz won the ensuing final face-off, and despite Springfield forcing a turnover, the Pride couldn’t muster an offensive possession as the Gulls held on for the 6-5 win. Both Ozycz and Mark Eaton went 7-of-14 from the "X".