SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Coast Guard men's lacrosse team knocked off 10 time conference champion Springfield 9-8 Wednesday night in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
With the win the Bears improve to 8-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play. The Pride, ranked 17th in the nation according to Laxpower.com, fall to 7-4 on the season and 3-1 in the NEWMAC.
Coast Guard becomes only the third team since 2006 to beat Springfield during the conference regular season. Western New England topped the Pride once in 2006 and once in 2007 when it was still the Pilgrim League and then Babson managed to earn a victory against them in 2015 in the second year as the NEWMAC. Springfield was 73-3 since 2006 in conference play coming into tonight's game and had never lost a home game in NEWMAC play.
Sophomore Anthony Wyler had three points with two assists and the game winning goal. With his three points, Wyler is now the all time career leader in points with 64 passing Justin Huemme. Sophomore Jack Pope scored a team high three goals while freshman Riley McNulty had three points with a goal and two assists. Sophomore Benner Geurtsen was the only other multi-point scorer for Coast Guard notching two with a goal and an assist.
Graduate student Brendan Boss had a game high four goals for the Pride while junior Duncan Preston added two of his own. Senior Tim Cozens and junior Kyle Dillon were the other two goal scorers for Springfield with a goal each.
The Bears jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first quarter as McNulty took a pass from Wyler and scored just a minute into the game followed by a goal from Geurtsen with just under 12 to go in the period.
The Pride answered with three unanswered goals to end the period. Dillon, Boss and Preston each had goals over this stretch while sophomore Jack Vail had two of the three assists.
Pope would tie the game just 16 second into the second period as he took a pass from Wyler and rifled a shot into the back of the net making the score 3-3.
After Boss scored two goals to give Springfield their largest lead of the game at 5-3, Geurtsen found senior Blaise Curtis with a pass who fired it home for the final goal of the first half, making the halftime score 5-4.
The Bears turned the tide in the third quarter outscoring Springfield 3-1. Pope had two goals in the period while McNulty had a goal and an assist.
Freshman Ryan Gochar gave Coast Guard a two goal lead to start the fourth quarter before the Pride scored the next two goals to tie the game at 8-8 with 2:50 to play.
With a 1:22 to go in the game, the Bears managed to stretch the Springfield defense as Wyler found space on the left side of the cage and fired home a bouncing shot for the eventual game winner.
Springfield managed to get the ball back late with an opportunity to score, but the Coast Guard defense held forcing a Springfield turnover and bringing home the huge conference win.
Sophomore Trey Johnson (8-6) tied a season high with 14 saves on 22 shots allowing eight goals. Johnson is second in the NEWMAC in saves (109), goals against average (8.20) and fourth in save percentage (53.4).
Junior Jake Reynold (7-4) made 15 saves on 24 shots allowing nine goals.
The Bears are back in action on Saturday, April 22nd, when they host the Emerson Lions in NEWMAC action. Opening face-off is 1:00 pm.