May 5, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. The Springfield College men's lacrosse team won its fifth-straight Pilgrim Lacrosse League Championship on Saturday afternoon after dispatching Wheaton College, 11-4, on Stagg Field. With the win, the Pride earn the automatic qualifying bid to the upcoming NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship.

Springfield improves to 14-3 and has won its last 10 straight games. The 10-game winning streak is the longest in program history since the 2005 rattled off 12-straight wins. Wheaton and Springfield have battled for a right to go to the NCAA Championship for the last several years, with the Pride besting the Lyons four out of the last five Pilgrim Lacrosse League Championships.

The NCAA Championship field will be announced on Sunday, May 6 with the selection show airing at 10 pm Eastern time on NCAA.com. Dating back to 2008, Springfield has now won 41 straight games against Pilgrim Lacrosse League opponents.

Springfield outshot Wheaton, 48-19, including 34-4 in the first half. The Pride won 15-of-17 face-offs and held Wheaton to just 11-for-23 on clear attempts.

Ryon Lynch produced a game-high six points on three goals and three helpers, while fellow attackman Dylan Sheehan added three goals and two assists. Ryan Murphy added to goals, and Shane Ferguson tallied a goal and two assists. Branden Fernandez won 12-of-14 draws and picked up a team-best six ground balls, while Tim Cimini caused three turnovers. Between the pipes, Rob Maher earned the win, making six saves and giving up two goals in just over 52 minutes of action.

Wheaton's Duncan Smith scored three of his team's four goals, while Will Compton added the other. Ian Casey caused three turnovers and have a team-best three ground balls. In goal, Harrison Bamhall gave up 11 goals despite making 14 saves.

Springfield dominated the first quarter from the opening whistle, jumping out to a 5-0 lead while outshooting the visitors 17-0. Just 11 seconds into the contest, Springfield struck first as Murphy converted a cross-crease pass from Lynch down low.

Lynch added his first goal of the afternoon at the 7:07 mark, spinning off his defender to the right and finding the top shelf. The Pride's lead grew to 3-0 thanks to another strong ride and great transistion offense. Off a Wheaton failed clear, Sheehan found Ferguson trailing on the play, and Ferguson buried a shot on the run at the 5:37 mark.

Lynch notched his second at 2:39, finishing from 10 yards out while getting hit before Murphy gave the hosts a 5-0 lead after scooping up a ground ball off a save and converting low.

Balslov scored the opening goal of the second quarter on an unassisted strike with 12:21 on the clock before Sheehan benefited from some great ball movement around the crease for Springfield's seventh goal at 4:57.

The Lyons finally found the scoreboard off a Compton goal after he wrapped around the cage with just 10 seconds left in the first half.

Springfield extended its lead to eight with markers from both Sheehan and Lynch midway through the third quarter. The Lyons added their second goal with 3:31 left in the third on a bid from Smith that found the top shelf.

Sheehan scored his hat trick 1:00 into the final quarter of play to make it a 10-2 contest. Smith then closed out the scoring as he sandwiched a pair of goals around a pretty strike from Matt Fleisher around the crease in the final 5:22 of the game.


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