90 minutes had passed, and Springfield College had failed to send a shot into a net against senior goalkeeper Nick Tolman and the Johnson and Wales Wildcats. The good news? The Wildcats hadn’t put one on the board either, facing a characteristically stingy Pride defense.
The game was set for extra time.
The weather failed to cooperate with the desire of the players, coaches and fans in the bleachers, as the skies opened up and rain began to fall just five minutes into the second half. By the time overtime began, the rain had escalated to a near-downpour.
The teams wouldn’t have to be out in the rain for long once extras began, however, as freshman forward Andrew Vecere was able to sneak through the Springfield defense, and shoot the ball past senior goalkeeper Billy Schmid. The Wildcats broke into celebration as Vecere ripped off his jersey in joy, while various members of the Pride fell to their knees on the field in disappointment. The Wildcats (6-4) silenced the crowd at Brock-Affleck field, and handed the Pride (7-2) just their second loss of the year, and their first at home.
Throughout the whole match, Springfield was struck by a case of bad luck. They were able to tally seven shots on goals (compared to Johnson and Wales’ four shots on goal). The sound of a soccer ball hitting the goalpost haunted Springfield several times on the evening as well. With 21:50 left in the second half, the Pride were just inches away from taking a 1-0 lead. Instead, a shot ricocheted off the left goalpost, much to the chagrin of the Springfield bench.
With 3:36 remaining in the extra period, another shot with “victory” written all over it bounced off of the Johnson and Wales crossbar, eliciting groans and sighs from the home crowd.
Springfield’s defense brought their A-game, as they barely allowed the Wildcats to cross midfield in the second half. The Pride’s offense dominated the second half, taking shot after shot against a shaky Johnson and Wales defense. The shots were just not falling however.
The Pride (7-2) will host NEWMAC rival Clark University (2-6-1) at 12 p.m on Saturday, October 3, looking to avoid their first consecutive loss for the season. Four of Springfield’s next eight games come against NEWMAC opponents.