By Vin Gallo
Deputy Sports Editor
Kristen Steidler received the ball at the top of the circle. She quickly surveyed the field before exploding to her right, hooking around her defender and firing a laser to the left of Coast Guard goalkeeper Hannah Delguercio.
The goal budded the Springfield women’s lacrosse team’s advantage over the Coast Guard Bears to 3-0. But the Pride’s NEWMAC rival would not hear the last from the Springfield attack or the junior midfielder. The three goal advantage was only the start to a 14-1 blowout at Stagg Field.
“We talked a lot about coming out of the first half and starting with a lot of energy from the beginning,” said junior attacker Shelby Corsano. “That’s something we’ve been lacking for the past few games so coming out really hard and wanting to show the NEWMAC that we’re playing really well helped us get through that.”
Kayla Schroeder began the rout with a free position goal in the first two minutes of the opening quarter. After a follow-up score from Allie Goddard (two goals), Steidler and Corsano combined for six straight goals to pad the Springfield lead at 8-0 heading into the half. The Bears were finally able to sneak a shot by their opponent’s stingy defense, courtesy of Coast Guard’s Anna McGoldrick. However, that would be the only noise made by the Bears in the game. Following the defensive blemish, the Pride tightened its grip again, which allowed the offense to go on a 5-0 run to end the game.
Coast Guard was held to three shots (three shots on goal) for the entire game. The Bears had a difficult time controlling possession against the Pride’s defense, as their offensive unit committed 22 turnovers in the contest. The Pride caused 12 turnovers. Springfield also dominated in the hustle game, as the Pride won the draw control battle 11-3 and groundball game 17-9.
“We’ve been working really hard on our shifting as a unit and I think that this was one of our best games as a solid defense and not letting them get through,” Steidler said.
Corsano and Steidler led the charge for the Pride’s attack.
“Kristen was making some really good cuts, so it was easy to feed her,” Corsano said. “Sometimes you don’t always get hard cuts to the middle, but we were doing that a lot today and playing fast paced.”
Corsano finished with four goals five draw controls and one assist while Steidler tallied three goals, one assist and five groundballs. Julia Bireley also collected three groundballs on the evening. Each member of the Springfield defense had at least one caused turnover.
“I don’t think [Shelby and I] worked individually,” said Steidler. “Everyone passed, everyone had their heads up and we worked off of each other really well.”
The win improves Springfield’s record to 6-4 and keeps its conference record at a perfect 3-0. Coast Guard drops to 3-8, and 0-3 in conference play. The victory pushes the Pride’s record to 2-0 in April after going 3-4 in March, a month that pitted them against three nationally ranked teams (Trinity, Amherst, and Brockport State).
“[March] didn’t have the outcomes that we wanted, but playing those nationally ranked teams gave us the confidence, it showed us how well we can play,” said Corsano. “If we can play well against nationally ranked teams, we can no doubt do really well in the conference.”
The Pride next contest is on the road on Saturday against Mount Holyoke.