Nash, Freeman lead Springfield to sixth consecutive Pilgrim championship
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Springfield captured its sixth consecutive Pilgrim Lacrosse League championship with a 14-3 win against Babson on Saturday at Stagg Field.
Springfield improved to 10-7 and earned an automatic qualifying bid to the upcoming NCAA championship. The entire 2013 NCAA Division III Championship field will be announced at 10:00 p.m. ET Sunday on a selection show airing on NCAA.com.
For the game, Springfield held a 42-37 advantage in shots, including a 25-12 cushion in the first half. The Pride won the ground-ball battle, 42-38, as Springfield won 11 of the game's 21 faceoffs.
The Pride benefited from several standout performances, including a career-best performance from goalie Connor Nash, who produced 18 saves in the win. Midfielder Kevin Freeman poured in five goals, and Ryon Lynch continued to power the offense, registering two goals and four assists.
Babson's Ryan Dawidjan tallied a game-high eight ground balls and caused four turnovers, while James Whalen was strong in net with 12 stops. The Beavers' three goals came from Alex Packer, Spencer Low and Scott Doten.
It was Babson which struck for the game's first goal, as Doten ripped a shot into the top shelf off an inside look from John Obadia for a man-up marker with 8:32 left in the first quarter.
However, Lynch answered back with a man-up goal of his own 1:39 later to kick-start a five-goal run by Springfield as it opened up a 5-1 lead with 14:43 to play in the opening half. Freeman scored twice in the run.
Babson responded with a strike just 19 seconds after the Pride's fifth consecutive goal after Low skipped home a shot off an Alex Patinkin pass
Springfield would not be denied though, using another five-goal burst during the next 18:23 of the game to grab a 10-2 stranglehold of the game. Lynch simply took over the game during the run, factoring in on four of the five strikes, including three sensational assists.
The Beavers scored their final goal with 5:12 in the third from Packer, before Springfield netted the final four goals of the game two of which came off the stick of Freeman.