SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Behind seven points from senior captain Ryon Lynch (Frederick, Md.), consisting of four goals and three assists, the Springfield College men's lacrosse team defeated cross-town rival, Western New England University, 19-13, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday evening in front of 2,500 fans at Stagg Field.
This marks the first time since 2009 that the Pride have scored 19 or more goals in an NCAA Tournament contest, dating back to when the Pride defeated Mount Ida in the first round, 21-4.
With the win, the Pride will now advance to the second round and travel to Cortland State University on Saturday. The Red Dragons defeated Keuka College on Wednesday evening, 20-6.
Junior midfielder Bryce Serriello (Cape Cod, Mass.) was a force from the midfield for Springfield, netting four goals and picking up a pair of assists, while seniors Dom Roberto (Malden, Mass.) and Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, Mass.) each tallied three goals of their own. Senior face-off specialist, Branden Fernandez (Warwick, N.Y.) was impressive once again at the "x", going 21-for-30 on the day.
Senior goalkeeper Connor Nash (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) posted 12 saves and picked up the victory, while his counterpart, Brandon Body (Newtown, Conn.) made 14 stops on 33 shots on goal from the Pride.
Kevin Freeman (Minisink, N.Y.) got the scoring started when Ryan Murphy (Mansfield, Mass.) fed him in the crease for an easy finish to give the Pride a 1-0 advantage in the opening minutes of the game.
Following suit, Serriello unleashed a shot from 12-yards out which found the back of the net to give the Pride a 2-0 lead, only to be followed by a Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.) goal in transition to push the lead to three.
At the 5:38 mark of the opening quarter, Abad caught a pass from Serriello and fired from the right side, netting his shot past Body to give the Pride a 4-0 lead.
A pair of goals from Western New England from Owen Caruso (Port Washington, N.Y.) and Keegan Dudeck (Longmeadow, Mass.) cut Western New England's deficit in half heading into the waning seconds of the first quarter.
Opening the second frame, Abad received a pass from Serriello on the right side and let go a bounce-shot that tucked up underneath the crossbar to help Springfield regain their three-goal lead with 12:33 left in the second quarter.
Just 2:29 later, Roberto buried a shot from the left alley to put Springfield up 6-2 with 10:04 remaining in the second stanza.
Midway through the second quarter, the Pride capitalized on a man-up advantage when Serriello caught a pass from Abad and fired a shot that got past Body to push the Pride's lead to five.
With a man-advantage of their own, Adam Knapton (Canandaigua, N.Y.) buried a shot from the left side to make it 7-3, Springfield. Just minutes later, Caruso found the back of the net for his second goal of the game to cut the Golden Bears' deficit to three.
Following a goal from junior Matt Dalton (Somers, N.Y.), Lynch picked up a loose ball in the crease and stuck a shot past Body to give the Pride a 9-4 lead in the late minutes of the second quarter.
After a strike from Serriello to open the second half, Sean Lawton (Abington, Mass.) dodged down the left alley and tallied a shot past Nash to make it 11-5, Springfield.
After both sides trading a pair of goals each with over a span of 1:41, with Serriello and Murphy tallying the markers for the Pride, Garrett Mullins (Jefferson Township, N.Y.) caught a pass from Dudeck and found the back of the net to make it 13-8, Springfield.
Senior Matt Fleisher (Ramapo, N.J.) then dodged through a pair of Western New England defenders and fired a bounce-shot past Body to give the Pride a five-goal lead, only to be erased by Knapton, who scored in transition off of the ensuing faceoff, leaving the Pride up 14-9.
At the 6:00 mark of the third quarter, Lynch picked up a rebound in the crease and netted a shot past Body to help the Pride to regain their six-point lead.
With just 1:48 left in the third quarter, Roberto caught a pass up top and dodged down the left alley, netting a shot past Body on the run to give the Pride a 16-9 advantage.
In the final seconds of the third quarter, Lawton caught a pass on the right side from Caruso and fired a shot that found its way past Nash to bring the score to 16-10, Springfield.
Just 18 seconds into the final stanza, Sheehan found Lynch on the crease for a finish with an array of Western New England defenders surrounding him to push the Pride's lead to seven.
With 10:21 remaining in the contest, Dudeck received a pass from Justin McKinney (Niskayuna, N.Y.) along the wing and finished his chance past Nash to make it 17-11, Springfield.
Just 2:21 later, a broken situation left Lynch all alone on the crease, but with a pair of Western New England defenders closing in on him, the senior fed Sheehan in the crease for a quick-stick goal to make it 18-11, Pride.
After a pair of goals from Colton Craig (Gales Ferry, Conn.) with 7:23 remaining followed by a tally from Knapton, Roberto finished a shot in transition to close out the contest, 19-13.
The Pride will be heading to Cortland State University on Saturday to take on the Red Dragons in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The game's start time has yet to be announced.