SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Senior Devin Abad (East Longmeadow, Mass.) had a game-high four goals and top-seeded Springfield College ended the game on a 7-1 run to pull away for a 12-6 victory over second-seeded Babson College in the championship game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.
With the win, 15th-ranked Springfield moves to 14-3 overall and clinches the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Babson, which was playing in its third conference title game in the last four years, sees its season come to an end at 11-7.
Junior Kyle Barsalou (Longmeadow, Mass.) had a goal and two assists to lead the Beavers. Sophomore Spencer Low (Natick, Mass.) scored twice and classmates Brendan Coan (Towson, Md.), John Obadia (Port Washington, N.Y.) and Alex Youngwall (Huntington, N.Y.) all added one goal apiece. Junior Christian Cattaruzza (Guilford, Conn.) had a team-high five groundballs and two caused turnovers while classmate Alex Bunick collected three groundballs and tied for game-high honors with three caused turnovers.
Junior Bryce Serriello (Cape Cod, Mass.) had two goals, senior Ryon Lynch (Frederick, Md.) had a goal and three assists, and sophomore Dylan Sheehan (Massapequa, N.Y.) chipped in with a goal and two assists for the Pride. Senior Branden Fernandez (Warwick, N.Y.) won 16-of-21 face-offs and picked up a game-high 11 groundballs while junior Frankie Verde (Mahopac, N.Y.) led the squad with three caused turnovers.
Abad opened the scoring 1:07 into the first quarter to give Springfield a 1-0 lead, but the Green and White responded with a three-goal run to close the stanza. Coan converted a feed from sophomore John Harrison (Pembroke, Mass.) to even the score at the 7:57 mark, Barsalou made it 2-1 with 2:24 left, and Youngwall followed with his only tally of the game with 45 seconds left in the period to take a two-goal lead.
The lead was short lived though, as Abad and Sheehan sparked a four-goal spurt which put Springfield back in front 5-3. Sheehan had a goal and two assists during the run and Abad scored twice, the second of which made it a two-goal game with just 2:24 left in the second quarter. Obadia helped pull the Beavers back within 5-4 with his man-up score 12 seconds before halftime.
Following three saves early in the third quarter from senior goalkeeper Adam Daroff (Pepper Pike, Ohio) and another shot that rang off the crossbar, Babson tied the game on Low's first goal of the game with 6:29 left in the period. After losing the ensuing face-off junior Zach Bastarache (Wayland, Mass.) forced a turnover and gave the Beavers a chance to take the lead but a shot by first-year Matt Logan (Downingtown, Pa.) went wide and Serriello, following a turnover, gave the Pride the lead for good with 3:58 left in the stanza.
Sophomore Brenan Boss (West Springfield, Mass.) made it 7-5 with his tally at the 2:34 mark and senior Matt Fleisher (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) added his only goal of the game 32 seconds later for a three-goal lead after three quarters. Abad struck for his fourth tally of the day 52 seconds into the fourth and graduate student Colby Verge (Derry, N.H.) capped the five-goal run by converting a feed from Lynch with 11:24 to go in the game for a 10-5 edge.
Low buried a pass from Barsalou for his 34th goal of the year to get back within 10-6 with 10:20 remaining, but Springfield added a pair of late markers for the final margin.
Daroff was superb in between the pipes for Babson making nine of his 15 saves in the second half, while senior Connor Nash (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) stopped six shots for the Pride.
Springfield had a 46-26 edge in shots and a 36-26 advantage in groundballs while finishing the day a perfect 15-for-15 on clear opportunities. The Beavers went 16-for-22 on clear chances and forced the Pride into 18 turnovers.