Springfield vs. Kean
May 7, 2008
The Game Story:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - May 7, 2008 - Junior Jake Beebe (Sudbury, Mass.) powered the Springfield College men’s lacrosse team to a 17-2 win over the visiting Kean University Cougars in the first round of the 2008 Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament on Wednesday evening.

Beebe, who notched five goals and five assists for 10 points in the contest, was one off the NCAA Division III Tournament record for points in a game. Rich Franz of Ohio Wesleyan tallied 11 points in 1991 for Ohio Wesleyan in a win over Washington & Lee.

“Tonight I was really in the zone,” said Beebe. “My teammates kept getting me the ball and I was able to take advantage of some great opportunities. It was a real team effort and it was great to see our defense step up and play great like they have the past few games.”

The Pride, which improves to 11-6, on the season, advances onto Saturday’s second round game at Cortland State (15-1). For Springfield, it was the first time it had won an NCAA Tournament game since it defeated Eastern Connecticut on May 9, 2001 by a score of 11-9.

The loss concludes Kean’s season (14-6), a record-setting year in which it reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

Springfield wasted no time netting the first goal of the game as Beebe fed Tyler Montgomery (Brunswick, Maine), all alone on the left side of the crease, who then netted SC’s first shot just one minute into the game.

At the 11:31 mark, Kyle Gable (Somers, Conn.) fed Beebe from behind the cage and the junior attackman made no mistake as he blasted a shot into the back of the cage from just over 12 yards out.

The Cougars responded just over seven minutes later as Dennis Novello (Freehold, N.J.) dodged to his left and converted on a bounce shot from 10 yards out to make it a 2-1 game.

However, from that point on, Springfield rattled off the game’s next five scores to take a commanding 7-1 lead. Beebe tallied three goals in the run for Springfield, while Kyle Louer (Islip, N.Y.) and Joe Macchi (Mahopac, N.Y.) each added goals for the host Pride.

With 7:35 remaining in the first half, Anthony Bertucci (Edison, N.J.) took a feed from Scott Leathem (Fair Lawn, N.J.) from the far right side and cranked a shot from 15 yards out to notch the Cougars' second goal of the game.

From that point on, the Pride’s defense clamped down and did not allow a goal for the final 37:35. It is the second straight game that Springfield has shut out its opponents in the second half. Sam Burrell (Cumberland, Maine) held Leathem to just one assist in the game, as he had entered the contest with a team-best 75 points on the season.

The Pride were too powerful down the stretch as it closed out the game scoring the final 10 goals en route to the 17-2 win. A couple of highlight goals in the final stretch for Springfield were Greg Welch’s (Peabody, Mass.) goal to make it 12-5 after he spun off his defender for an outstanding individual effort, and found the back of the cage. With just over 11 minutes remaining in the game, Joe Heney (Plainview, N.Y.) tallied a man-down goal off a feed from Chris Sharpe (Derry, N.H.) in transition to put the Pride up 16-2.

“The boys really came to play tonight. It was an overwhelming performance in just about every category of the game for us,” said head coach Keith Bugbee, in his 25th year at the helm of the Pride. “We played with a lot of heart. I know Kean is a very good team, but we just never let them get going.”

The Pride owned a 51-17 advantage on shots and held a 44-26 edge in the ground ball department. Kean committed 26 turnovers on the evening as it was just 11-of-21 on clear attempts.

Nine different members of the Springfield team scored goals while 13 total players recorded at least one point in the game. In its Division III era, the 17 goals are the highest output in NCAA Tournament action for Springfield. It was also the Pride's largest margin of victory this entire season.

Besides Beebe’s 10 points, Heney added three as did Louer. Tom Albano (Ridgewood, N.J.) made eight saves in the cage, while Matt Cipolla (Harrison, N.Y.) came in to make three saves.

Sharpe showed why he was named the Pilgrim Lacrosse League Player of the Year as the long stick midfielder picked up nine ground balls and caused five turnovers in the victory.

Dave Nichols (Florham Park, N.J.) made 10 saves in the cage for the Cougars over the course of the first 50 minutes. Sophomore John Gesumaria (Cranford, N.J.) made one save in the last 10 minutes.