Pride men’s soccer avenged last year’s overtime loss to the Babson Beavers, taking them down 1-0 at Brock Affleck Field Saturday afternoon. The Pride improved to 6-0 (2-0 in the NEWMAC), marking the first time in the program’s Division III history that a team has started off this well.
Head coach Steffen Siebert was very pleased with the accomplishment, but was more focused on the schedule ahead.
“Obviously those things are nice. We need around 10 to 12 points to make the tournament; and that’s what we are going for, so that was another step towards [that goal].”
The lone goal in the game came approximately 10 minutes into the second half from senior Danny Murphy, as he tallied his second goal of the season. Junior Keon Haji got the assist, his first of the season. After Haji intercepted a Beaver’s clearance attempt, he played the ball to Murphy who was ready to receive it about five yards outside of the Beavers’ 18 yard box. Murphy turned, took a couple of touches around a Babson defender, and fired a low line drive to the right corner of the goal that got past the outstretched body of Babson goalkeeper, James Takami. It was a pretty shot, as Murphy was able to find a small pocket of room to put the ball past the Babson defenders.
“Coach says to just let it fly,” said Murphy. “We all have the green light on offense, so sometimes you just gotta do what you feel.”
Springfield outshot the Beavers 24-5, making it the fourth game this year where they have had 20+ shots. In the first half, Springfield had unleashed eight shots before Babson was able to have their first. Not only had the offense been viciously attacking the Beaver’s defense, but the Pride’s defense did a superb job at limiting the Beavers opportunities to score. Siebert believes that the defense’s key to success is simple.
“Everyone is striving to be compact and win the ball as quickly as we can.”
After Murphy’s goal in the second half, the Pride set up a couple more great opportunities to score. Sixteen minutes into the half, Haji had settled a clearance attempt at the right corner of the Beaver’s 18 yard box and sent a cross in the direction of senior Cam Powell. Unfortunately, Powell just missed putting the ball in the net. In the 23rd minute, Murphy had an opportunity that was similar to his goal 13 minutes earlier. He again beat a Beaver defender and fired a shot to the low right corner of the goal. However, this shot had kicked off the post, and sophomore Charlie Argyle nearly finished the rebound, but shot it wide.
Babson’s best opportunities of the game came in the final thirteen minutes of the match, where they had more than doubled their shot total for the entire game during that stretch. Ian Cicalis had served a ball up to Alex Crompton, who was almost within point blank range of the goal. The sophomore got his head on it and sent the ball to the left upper 90. Springfield goalkeeper Stewart Frank was able to make a spectacular save as he pinned the ball to the goal post, and kept it from crossing the plane of the goal. That shot was one of only two saves Frank had made on the day, and it proved to be the save that could have tied the game.
In what seemed to be a last ditch effort, Babson sent a free kick from about half field into the Pride’s 18 yard box with 40 seconds left. Springfield was able to once again foil that opportunity and held on for the win.
Next on the schedule for Springfield is a non-conference matchup against Wentworth on Tuesday September 26th at Brock Affleck Field.