Springfield Escapes with Comeback Win Over Babson

BABSON PARK, Mass The Babson College men's lacrosse team built a 4-0 lead in the first quarter and still led by three at halftime, but visiting Springfield College rallied with three goals in the third and five more in the fourth to claim a thrilling 10-7 comeback win in the final game of the Pilgrim League regular season at MacDowell Field on Saturday evening.

With the win, Springfield (10-5 overall, 7-0 Pilgrim League) clinches the top seed in next week's conference tournament, and will host fourth-seeded MIT in the semifinal round on Wednesday, May 5 at a time to be determined. Meanwhile, Babson (10-6, 5-2) will be seeded third in the Pilgrim League Tourney and will head to Wheaton for a semifinal matchup with the second-seeded Lyons at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Springfield received two goals apiece from senior Joe Heney (Plainview, N.Y.), sophomore Mike Delia (Wading River, N.Y.), and sophomore Jarrid Johnson (Orlando, Fla.), while senior Kyle Gable (Somers, Conn.) and sophomore Harry Bernstein Westfield, N.J.) each added one goal and one assist. Junior Mark Eaton (Westford, Mass.) added one goal and a game-high 11 groundballs for the Pride, while senior goalie Matt Cipolla (Harriston, N.Y.) came off the bench to make eight saves in the final three quarters of play.

Junior Armand Wilson (Fairfield, Conn.) paced Babson with two goals, while junior Andrew Packer (Hudson, Ohio) and senior captain Max Artz (Gates Mills, Ohio) each contributed one goal and one assist. The Beavers received a magnificent performance from their defensive unit, led by junior Christian Ebert (Boxford, Mass.), who forced three turnovers and picked up a team-high seven groundballs.

First-year defenseman Blake Dudek (Lancaster, Pa.) chipped in with two groundballs, Artz had four GBs, and junior Ryan Kucinski (Cohassett, Mass.) had one groundball while also scoring one of the Beavers' seven goals. Senior captain Mike Saucier (Nashua, N.H.) also played well in his final regular season home game, finishing with nine saves in net.

Babson was nearly flawless in the opening quarter, ripping off four unanswered goals to take a 4-0 lead after one. Wilson started the barrage with a beautiful behind-the-back goal just 1:36 into the contest, and Kucinski followed with a coast-to-coast effort with 11:21 left in the period.

First-year Jamie Schmidt (Shelburne, Vt.) then converted a feed from Artz to make it 3-0 with 10:05 left, and Wilson capped off the dominating quarter with a spectacular goal when he made a leaping catch of a bullet pass from Packer just outside the crease and redirected it past Springfield starting goalie Marc Martinez (Babylon, N.Y.) with 4:38 left.

Springfield finally got on the board early in the second quarter, as Heney scored off a pass from junior Kyle Louer (Islip, N.Y.) at 13:12. Babson then re-established its four-goal lead when sophomore Brad Simpson (Neenah, Wisc.) took a pass from first-year Alex Patinkin (Providence, R.I.) and ripped a shot past Cipolla to make it 5-1 at 9:43.

Facing its second four-goal deficit of the game, Springfield took over from that point on. The Pride got one goal back when Johnson scored with 4:05 left in the second quarter, and then scored three unanswered goals in the third and four straight to start the fourth to take a 9-5 lead. Seven different players scored the final seven goals for the visitors, including Johnson and Heney, who both netted their second of the contest.

Artz finally ended the run when he scored to make it 9-6 with 8:22 left in the fourth, but Delia converted his second of the contest 22 seconds later to make it 10-6 in favor of Springfield. Packer would score his first of the game to cut the Beavers' deficit to 10-7 with 6:07 left to play, but the Pride defense would limit Babson to just one shot on net the rest of the way as Springfield escaped with the 10-7 comeback victory.

Prior to the contest, a brief ceremony was held in honor of Babson's five seniors. During their careers, Artz, Saucier, Shane Farrell (West Warwick, R.I.), Jon Standen (South Hadley, Mass.), and Travis Clarke (Waltham, Mass.) have helped lead Babson to a total of 28 victories, including 10 wins this spring the program's most since 2003.

2010-05-01



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