The Pride has since been awarded a first round home game for the third-consecutive season and will take on Widener on Wednesday (May 12) at Stagg Field at 4:00 pm.
Admission will be charged to the contest and ticket prices are as follows:
General Admission - $5
Students with an ID- $3
Children under 12 - $1
Widener will make its eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament and first since 2008. Widener claimed its fifth title in six years with Saturday’s 10-8 victory at FDU-Florham and did so in improbable fashion, winning the tournament as the six seed after winning all three games in their tournament on the road. They enter the tournament with a 10-9 overall record.
Springfield enters the NCAA Tournament as winners of 11 of its last 12 contests and is ranked sixth in New England in the final NEILA Coaches Poll behind Tufts, Conn. College, Middlebury, Wesleyan, and Bowdoin.
This marks the first time in program history that Widener and Springfield will play each other.
Springfield has been to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons and advanced to the second round both times. The Pride hosted Mount Ida in the first game and behind a record-setting performance from Jake Beebe, SC cruised past visiting Mount Ida, 21-4. Springfield dominated nearly every statistical category -- as it outshot the visitors, 72-34; won the ground ball battle, 55-28; and was victorious on 18-of-27 face-offs. In the game, Beebe broke an 18-year old NCAA Tournament record for points in a game as he poured in seven goals and five assists for a record-breaking total of 12 points.
In its second round game of the NCAA Tournament, despite 22 saves from Tom Albano and Kyle Gable's five goals and two assists, SC fell to the eventual national-champion Cortland State Red Dragons, 15-12.
Springfield cruised through the Pilgrim League with an unblemished record in league play for the third-straight season and has now won 26 straight games against league opponents, including Pilgrim Tournament contests. In the regular season, the Pride’s non-conference schedule was littered with some of the top teams in the country as the Pride took on then No. 15 Nazareth, No. 17 Stevens Tech, and No. 5 Middlebury. Of the other 22 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament, the Pride has already faced two of them in the regular season, with games against Middlebury and Endicott.
Springfield's attack is led by a trio of veterans in Gable, Joe Heney, and Austin Orsini. Heney leads the team in scoring with 43 points and is coming off arguably his best game of the year in which he tallied five goals and an assist in the Pilgrim Tournament Championship game. Gable has poured in 24 goals and is the Pride's top weapon on man-up opportunities as he has turned in five man-up strikes. Orsini has had a solid junior season as he has recorded 19 goals and 14 assists to rank third on the team in scoring with 33 points.
Springfield boasts on of the top midfield's in New England and generates a great deal of offense from it. Leading the way are a three all-conference selections in Joe Macchi, Mike Delia, and Shawn Runyon. Macchi ranks second on the team in points with 38 and routinely came through in the clutch as he pumped in five-game winning goals on the year. Last season's Pilgrim League Rookie of the Year, Delia totaled 13 goals and a team-high 16 assists for 29 points. Thanks to his quickness and speed, Runyon was one of Springfield's top dodgers and registered 18 goals and 13 assists this season.
Springfield's defense, which ranks 11th in country in goals allowed with 6.52, is led by seniors Mike Smith and Cory Schwarzkopf, both of whom are all-conference selections. Smith has had a steller collegiate career as a four-time all-conference selection and leads the team in caused turnovers with 23 and has also chipped in 25 ground balls. Schwarzkopf is a big and physical defender who ranked second on the team with 22 caused turnovers and added 24 ground balls. Also having a significant impact on the defensive side of the ball include Vinny Senatore, Tim Cimini, and Ross Marchegiani. These three have combined for 47 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers, 20 of which have come off the stick of Senatore.
At the "X", Pilgrim Lacrosse League Player of the Year Mark Eaton has been dominant, winning 138-of-303 draws for a 61.7 wining percentage. He has picked up 131 ground balls, over 70 more than the next highest member on the team and ranks in the top 25 nationally in both ground balls per game and face-off percentage.
Longstick midfielder Pete Sessa earned all-conference honors for the second-straight year and is a true leader on the field. A preseason honorable mention All-American, the quad-captain picked up 40 ground balls and was responsible for causing 14 turnovers. Springfield's Sean Kerrigan and Matt Hudson both see time at defensive middie and have combined for 40 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers.
Between the pipes, all-conference selection Marc Martinez ranks first in the conference in goals against average with a 7.08 and was also tops in the league with a .595 save percentage. He has recorded 131 saves to date and picked up 29 ground balls.
Head Coach Keith Bugbee has been at the helm of the Pride for the past 27 seasons. During his tenure as head coach, Bugbee has guided the Pride to 23 post-season tournaments, including capturing the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1994. This season, Bugbee led the Pride to its ninth league title in the past 111 years. Since joining the Pilgrim Lacrosse League, Bugbee has guided Springfield to the Championship game all 11 years. In his 27 years on the sidelines for Springfield, he has accumulated an impressive record of 289-132, good for a .686 winning percentage.