Wheaton vs. Springfield
April 13, 2002
The Game Story:
NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College men's lacrosse team fell just short of handing Springfield its first ever Pilgrim League loss Saturday afternoon at Elms Field, as the Pride edged Wheaton, 19-18. Senior attackman Craig Gibson (South Salem, NY/John Jay) scored the game-winner with 1:32 on the clock to give Springfield its second league win of the year.

Wheaton drops to 5-4 on the season, including an 0-2 mark in conference play, while the Pride, ranked third in New England, improve to 2-0 in the league and 6-4 overall.

The Lyons got off to a strong start, as junior Zach Hurd (Bath, ME/Hyde School) scored two first-period goals to keep the Blue and White in the game. Down one after the first break, the Lyons tallied the first two goals of the second period to take their first lead at 7-6. The Pride then took over offensively, as Springfield reeled off six unanswered goals to close out the half with a comfortable 12-7 lead. Sophomore Paul Purdy (Brewster, NY/Brewster) scored six of his seven goals in the first half to lead the visitors.

Wheaton however rallied in the third stanza, as the Lyons began their successful comeback effort trailing 15-8 with just under eight minutes to go. Hurd had two goals during an 8-1 run that culminated into a game-tying goal by Paul Leonard (E. Grand Rapids, MI/E. Grand Rapids) with 10:43 to play in the final period. The teams were deadlocked at 17 goals apiece, until Wheaton re-took the lead on an Evan Carbotti (Newport RI, Portsmouth Abbey) goal midway through the frame. The Pride evened the contest one final time with a goal off the stick of senior Bill Metzger (Northampton, MA/Northampton) with 3:18 on the clock, setting up Gibson's late-game heroics. The Lyons however were unable to get a final shot off in the closing seconds to force overtime.

Nine Wheaton players posted goals in the losing effort, led by Hurd, who tallied a career-high five goals and two assists. Carbotti netted a hat-trick, while senior Jason Warnick (Montclair, NJ/Hyde School), sophomore Chris Milligan (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand) and Leonard all scored two goals apiece. Gibson posted three goals and dished out four assists for the Pride. Springfield was also aided by Metzger's four goals. Wheaton netminder Bryant Denny (Fair Haven, NJ/Rumson-Fair Haven) recorded 13 saves, while his opponent P. J. Rovinelli (Framingham, MA/Framingham) made 12 stops in the victory.