By Gabby Guerard and Helen Lucas
A snow squall unleashed heaps of snow into the unforgiving wind, which viciously attacked players during the women’s lacrosse game on Friday. Despite scoring contributions from five different players, this game was much more than just a test of skills; it was a test of mental toughness.
The Pride wasted no time in their 11-6 victory against Eastern Connecticut State. Refusing to let the conditions steal their focus, Junior Shelby Corsano opened the first half by scoring within five minutes, and sophomore Katie Stallone opened the second half by scoring within three minutes.
Both Corsano and Stallone finished the game with three goals a piece, accounting for more than half of the team’s goals. Also contributing two goals a piece were juniors Ann Mahoney and Kristen Steidler. Rounding out the offensive pressure was sophomore Taylor Kane, who produced a breakaway goal with just one minute remaining in the first half, carrying the ball from goal line to goal line across Stagg before letting it rip on net.
Corsano led the Pride last year and broke the program record of goals scored in a single-season with 56. Aside from the record, Corsano was named First Team-All Conference at the end of the season, and First Team All Region. Corsano is back with even more experience and has already scored nine goals in the first three games of the season.
Along with Corsano, senior goalie Gabby Anderson is returning for the Pride. Last season Anderson finished the season with 160 saves, NEWMAC First Team All-Conference honors and was the NEWMAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
“We have a very versatile team this year which gets better every year,” said head coach Kristen Mullady.
Mahoney is a big contributor on Springfield’s defense, as last season she was named both NEWMAC First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Region.
The Pride are coming off of a record breaking season last year, where they beat Babson in the NEWMAC championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16, which is the farthest ever in program history. Last season Springfield lost to Babson in the regular season 8-6 before defeating them in the championship game 5-4. This season Babson is once again towards the top of the rankings, however for now, Springfield is ranked in front of them at No. 1.
“The NEWMAC conference keeps getting better and better so every game is going to be a challenge,” said Mullady. “Going off of last year Babson, Wheaton College and MIT fall at the top of the conference.”
Outside of the NEWMAC conference the competition proved to be even more stiff, as the Pride faced off against nationally ranked Trinity College on Tuesday evening. Suffering its first loss to the No. 3 team with a score of 3-13, Springfield will look to bounce back as they travel to Florida to take on Denison University.
“We try to take every game as a new game, we take everyday day by day, we try not to focus on us being No. 1 in the NEWMAC conference because we know college lacrosse at the division three level keeps getting better and better, so the teams that weren’t competitive four years ago are getting competitive,” said Mullady. “We try to focus on us every game and every practice and try and get better.”