Western New England vs. Springfield
May 4, 2002
The Game Story:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass (May 4, 2002) - Senior Bill Locher (Yorktown, NY) scored five goals for the second straight game to give him 200 career points, and sophomore Marco Le Gette (Severna Park, MD) had the game-winner with 3:41 remaining, to lead Western New England College to a thrilling 17-16 victory over Springfield College in the championship game of the Pilgrim League Tournament. SC was the two-time defending tournament champion.

The win advances WNEC to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in the programÕs 21-year history. The Golden Bears improved their record to 12-4 with their school record 10th consecutive victory.

Pairings for the national tournament will be announced Sunday night with first-round games starting on Wednesday, May 8.

WNEC junior goalie Pat Dabrowski (Baltimore, MD) played a key role in the victory, making 15 saves, including two sensational stops with the Golden Bears a man-down in the final 48 seconds.

There were 11 ties in the contest, the last time when Springfield senior Bill Metzger (Northampton, MA) scored with 5:56 left in the game. That set the stage for Le Gette who scored with the Golden Bears a man-up. Le Gette also tallied the winning goal in a 13-12 win over Babson College in the tournament semifinals on May 1.

Locher, meanwhile, had five goals against Babson. With 200 points, he is second on the WNEC all-time scoring list.

Junior Tim Cinque (Lynbrook, NY) contributed three goals for Western New England while senior Kevin Savage (West Hartford, CT) and junior Randy Milou (Ambler, PA) each chipped in with two scores. Senior Ryan Deane (Wilbraham, MA) had a goal and two assists.

Western New England defeated Springfield, 15-13, on April 23 in a regular season contest. Last year SC beat WNEC twice by the combined margin of 46-12 (22-6 and 24-6). WNEC also captured Pilgrim League Tournament titles in 1987 and 1996.

John Klepacki, a former player and assistant coach at SC, is now the first-year coach at Western New England. Two All-Americans from last year's nationally ranked Springfield squad, goalie Jeremy Platt and midfielder Jim Warnock, are now assistant coaches this year for Klepacki at WNEC.