Bears Fall Short in NEWMAC Championship Game

Bears Fall Short in NEWMAC Championship Game

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- Most Outstanding Player Jack Vail had four goals and one assist leading second-seeded Springfield to its 12th straight conference championship and sixth consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament championship with an 12-10 win over top-seeded Coast Guard.

Springfield head coach Keith Bugbee won his 400th career game to become just the fifth coach in men's collegiate lacrosse to accomplish that feat.

The Pride improve to 10-9 and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Championship. Coast Guard sees its season end for the second straight year with a school-record tying 14 wins and a 14-4 record.

The game was a rematch of last season's NEWMAC championships game when the Pride beat Coast Guard 11-7. Springfield also the Bears 9-8 in the regular season for Coast Guard's only regular season conference loss.

Lucas Habich and Joe Hawley each added three goals in the win for Springfield.

Riley McNulty had a game-high five goals and three assists to lead the Bears. He is the program leader with 140 goals, 88 assists and 208 points. He set single-season school records with 57 goals, 38 assists and 95 points.

Benner Geurtsen would score three goals in the final game of his collegiate career. Geurtsen is second all-time with 169 points and he is third in program history with 99 career goals.

The Pride jumped out to 3-0 with goals by Lucas Habich, Cameron Glover and finally by Joe Hawley with 5:06 left.

McNulty would score back-to-back goals in a span of less than two minutes as the Bears cut the deficit to 3-2 with 2:15 left in the first quarter.

Geurtsen knotted the game 3-3 just 50 seconds into the second quarter and the Pride answered less than a minute later on a goal by Hawley with 13:13 left in the half for a 4-3 lead.

Vail would score consecutive goals as the Pride built a 6-3 lead with 8:41 left in the half.

Geurtsen and McNulty would score making it 6-5 with 2:16 left before Hawley found the back of the net with 53 seconds left in the half giving the Pride a 7-5 halftime lead.

Vail gave the Pride an 8-5 lead scoring with 13:33 left in the third and the team's would alternate goals three times in the quarter as the Pride led 10-8 after three.

Cole Pecora gave the Pride an 11-8 lead with 13:08 left.

Geurtsen cut the deficit to 11-9 before Habich answered with 7:09 left for the Pride to make the score 12-9.

Logan Morin closed the scoring on a goal with 4:16 left for Coast Guard.

Cole Finerty had 12 saves in goal for Springfield while Trey Johnson had nine saves for the Bears, who outshot Springfield 48-36.

Coast Guard won 17 of the 26 face offs and held a 43-26 edge in ground balls.

This was the final game for 15 Coast Guard seniors, who helped put the program on the map winning 48 games over the past four years including back-to-back NEWMAC regular season championships and berths in the NEWMAC tournament championship game.

Anthony Wyler finished second in school history with 107 career goals and third with 153 points while Trey Johnson leaves as the Bears' all-time leader with 43 wins and 496 saves.

Colin Cashin finished with program records of 416 ground balls and 714 face off wins.