With just 4:51 left in the sudden death, second overtime period, senior captain Mary Hogan blasted home a pass from junior Ashley Carresi to lead the Pride to a 1-0 victory in Tuesday night’s match between the Pride and Coast Guard Academy. Host Springfield boosted their record to 9-4-1 and 6-1 in the NEWMAC.
With the win, the Pride have moved into a tie with Wheaton College for first place in the conference. The Lyons lost to MIT 2-1 Tuesday afternoon, moving them to and identical 6-1 league record.
Off of a free kick by Carresi, the ball jostled around between Coast Guard Academy defensive players and then squeaked out to Hogan. The 5-foot-5 defender from Farmington, Conn. then took one step to her right and buried the shot past Coast Guard goalkeeper Devin Fellman.
“I never usually go up, but they brought another defender back, so I decided there is no one I need to mark up, and the girl missed the clear, so I got it and shot it at the net,” said Hogan. “We played really well. We took lots of shots and passed the ball really well, we just have to finish.”
Fellman kept the Pride offense at bay throughout the entire game. With her 20 save effort, the junior made key stops down the stretch to put her team in a position to win.
“That was the best game we have played all season,” said Fellman. “We played as a unit [and] everyone did their job. We didn’t come out with the win, but no one is hanging their heads tonight.”
On the other side of the field, Pride keeper Erin Greenstein continued to add to her record-setting shutout total. The senior now has 27 shutouts in her four years at Springfield.
After a dismal first half, the Pride went into the break frustrated with their lack of scoring.
“I told them it wasn’t good enough,” said Coach John Gibson. “We were in position to win the league after beating MIT on Saturday. We didn’t play badly in the first half, but we just missed loads of chances. We didn’t come out to play, and they showed incredible determination.”
The Pride came out in the second half with a new attitude and stepped up their play, creating scoring chances from all directions. Springfield’s best chance came early in the second half.
In the 55th minute, freshman midfielder Jessica Miller beat her defender down the sideline and shot the ball on cage. Fellman deflected the ball into the air, and as it made its decline, it was contested by freshman forward Nicole Fowler. Fowler won the head ball back to Miller, who fired a shot on cage, but it was caught and cleared by Fellman.
In the 79th minute, as regulation was dwindling down, freshman midfielder Victoria Fryzel passed a through ball to Vital who buried it past Fellman, but the sideline judge blew his whistle, signaling offsides.
Fellman and the Bears fought off the Pride attack until the late game heroics from Hogan.
The Pride will carry the momentum of this emotional win into Saturday afternoon, when they host NEWMAC foe Mount Holyoke on Brock Affleck. Last season the Pride bested Mount Holyoke 3-0.