It was an overcast kind of day. The illuminating Amos Alonzo Stagg Field stadium lights had already been flicked on by the Springfield College Athletics event staff even though it was only 3 in the afternoon on Mar. 24. The women’s lacrosse team was battling NEWMAC-foe Wheaton College in a crucial conference opener that would certainly have playoff implications later this season.
The chances of Springfield College winning that game directly reflected the weather: dismal. The Lyons had a lead of 11-6 with 19:04 left in the second half, but little did Wheaton know, the Pride had one last push left in them.
The Pride continued to hack away at the lead, playing lockdown defense and picture-perfect offense, fighting back to within one goal.
With just 42 seconds left in the game, the heart and soul of the Pride this year proved her on-field dominance by catching a feed from teammate Kelly Gallo, and netting a shot that would force overtime and an eventual crucial double-overtime victory for the Pride. Jackie Moscardelli had done it again.
“She is a leader and has great composure,” said Springfield coach Kristen Mullady. “She runs pretty much everything that we do.”
These statements shine brighter than the Stagg Field lights themselves in moments like these when the senior midfielder makes plays like she did that day.
It is no surprise the Weymouth, Mass. native is having a great season this year for the Pride, with 42 goals and eight assists, after having had such a tremendous career. Over the course of four years at Springfield, Moscardelli has scored a remarkable 146 goals, leaving her just 13 goals away from tying the record set by Holly Carmody (2003-2006) at 159. Also on the list for career goals is a familiar face for Moscardelli: her coach.
Mullady had a remarkable career for the Pride during her time on Alden Street, accumulating 108 goals and 54 assists between 1997 and 2000. Along with these statistics, which leave her in ninth place all time in goals and sixth in assists, Mullady had a record-breaking season of her own in 1999. In a year where international pop star Britney Spears made her singing debut and Who Wants to be a Millionaire was the most popular TV show, Mullady felt like a millionaire herself when she smashed Jill Lopez’s record of 57 points in a season by 20. It left Mullady with a record that would be extremely challenging to beat: 77 points.
With one regular season game remaining, Moscardelli has 146 career goals and 182 career points, passing her coach on both of those lists.
“I think it’s great; she deserves it,” said Mullady. “It just shows how much the sport is changing. The players around her clearly have helped her, too. Back when I was here, it was two people that are really good, and you’re doing everything on your own.”
Moscardelli understands this evolution, and as humble as can be, gives a lot of credit to her teammates.
“We lost a lot of important people last year to graduation, so we not only had a lot of spots to fill, but key spots,” said Moscardelli. “We got a lot of new people which was good; they just had to adjust to our playing style.”
With the Pride’s playing style, which Moscardelli has been playing with for three years under Mullady, not only can she potentially reach the career goals record of 159, but she has the records for total goals in a season (52 by Danica Ansardy ‘02) and points in a season (77 by Mullady ‘00) in her sight.
As much as Moscardelli respects all of her teammates, the Pride have even more respect for her as not only a player, but as a friend.
“She is a great leader on and off the field and she’ll never give up no matter what the circumstances,” said junior midfielder Meghan Flanagan. “She always makes an effort to connect with her teammates.”
As Springfield wraps up their season, her teammates and coaching staff will be looking to Moscardelli and her “never give up” attitude to carry them through the NEWMAC Tournament, which starts on April 25. In turn, they will hopefully be reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Moscardelli has been in college.
“We’ve lost in the NEWMAC Championship five years in a row, and we’ve lost big,” said the tri-captain.
With the help of the player-coach duo of Moscardelli and Mullady, the Pride aspire to finally be the brides and not the bridesmaids in this year’s tournament.
Just as Moscardelli and her teammates chant when breaking huddles, the Pride know they can win; they just have to “prove it.”
Jon Santer may be reached at email@example.com