Prior to their match with Clark University on Saturday, the last time Springfield College’s men’s soccer team was on the pitch, Johnson and Wales handed the Pride (8-2) their second loss of the season in a disheartening 1-0 finish in overtime.
Looking for a bounce-back victory and to avoid consecutive losses for the first time all season, the Pride braved the brisk early-October weather on Saturday in a 3-1 victory over NEWMAC rival Clark University on Brock-Affleck Field.
“I always talk about bouncing back when you are down, and you need to rebound and bounce back,” Springfield coach Steffen Siebert explained. “I thought we played an amazing game against Johnson and Wales. I wouldn’t call it a bounce-back, we just did what we did against Johnson and Wales.”
It was a goal from sophomore defenseman Curtis Bolduc which would prove to be the deciding goal for Springfield. He ripped a shot past Cougars goalkeeper Connor Maguire at the 62:20 mark of the game.
“We won the ball really high up the field,” Siebert said. “And then he just went for it and scored an amazing goal – we call it a screamer. It’s because defensively we were so tight and able to win the ball up the field.”
It was an evenly matched contest through the first 45 minutes. Springfield found its way onto the scoreboard first when freshman Brad Deckel scored just 13:58 into the game. The Cougars (2-7-1) didn’t remain scoreless for much longer, however, as Alberto Polo-Herrera’s shot found the back of the net 30:01 minutes in to even the score.
There was no love lost between the two squads as they battled for supremacy. The game was filled with assorted shoves, pushes and plays which some may have classified as dirty.
“I always tell the boys: we’ve got to control what we can control, so what the other team does is not on us,” Siebert said. “We were really happy with how we reacted to certain things. We dealt with it before, it was in the team talk. These conference games are tight.”
Clark University wasn’t the only thing Springfield had to battle on Saturday; weather in the mid-40s, wind and rain tried to slow down the Pride as well.
“For us, we try to be ready for everything,” Siebert said. “We try to practice for everything, for when it’s really hot, for when it’s rainy, all conditions. I felt that the boys dealt really good with it. We went up 1-0, and dominated the game.”
Springfield’s upcoming schedule sets the Pride up against a mix of NEWMAC opponents – WPI on October 10, Babson on October 17, and MIT on October 24. With the bulk of its conference matchups coming up, the Pride look to continue their winning ways.
“If we do us, we’re going to do well,” Siebert said. “If you look at the last few games, sometimes the bounces go our way and sometimes they don’t. If we do the right things, the bounces will go our way.”