By Matt Noonan
In the words of Springfield College men’s lacrosse head coach Keith Bugbee, Wednesday’s NCAA Tournament triple-overtime win against Middlebury College was ‘one for the ages.’
Springfield and Middlebury traded goals during the final two sessions before ending regulation tied at 10-10.
The game continued in overtime, but neither team was able to locate the back of the net until the third extra session when Dylan Sheehan snapped a shot over the middle to provide the visiting Pride with a dramatic 11-10 triple-overtime win.
“The effort and the commitment to playing 60 minutes today was unbelievable,” Bugbee said in a postgame interview. “Just the desire to win this game … I don’t think I have ever been apart of something like this … unbelievable.”
The game was indeed one for the ages – not trying to steal Bugbee’s words, I promise – but now the Pride must channel their excitement by putting fourth their best effort tomorrow against St. Lawrence University in the second round.
Unlike the Pride, the Saints cruised to a first-round victory, defeating New England College, 25-2. Jeremy Vautour netted six goals, while Conor Healey recorded seven points on three goals and four assists.
Saturday’s second round winner will advance to next Wednesday’s quarterfinal against either Amherst or RIT.
With an exciting first-round victory in the rearview mirror, Bugbee believes his team’s morale should help the squad keep their championship hopes alive as they begin the next phase of their NCAA Tournament journey.
“I think the sky is the limit,” said Bugbee. “As long as they put this kind of effort out and this kind of commitment to do all the little things right and just compete for the entire 60 minutes of the game.”