By Darin MacEacheron and Jack Margaros
The Pride had a lot of momentum after striking first against 13th ranked Williams College in the first half. Senior Maggie Kennedy placed the ball on the penalty corner line and hit a pass to her teammate, Paige Laperle. Once Laperle received the ball at the top of the defense, she slotted a diagonal pass to Amanda Nusbaum. The junior fired a wrist shot to the left corner of the goal to finish her third goal of the year.
Unfortunately, this was the Pride’s only goal as Williams dominated the rest of the game. After the goal, Williams outshot the Pride 7-2 before the second half and took the momentum into the break.
“We can’t be on defense for five minutes and then only be on attack for ten seconds,” said Pride head coach Melissa Sharpe.
Williams brought offensive pressure immediately and scored one minute and 51 seconds into the second half. Not even ten minutes later, Williams’ Libby Dolan received a crossing pass from Meredith Wright leaving her with a wide open net. Dolan is a player who takes those opportunities when she can as she tucked in her 11th goal of the season and is top five in the nation in goals per game. After Dolan’s goal, the Purple Cows took complete control of the momentum and the game as they added on another three goals, defeating the Pride 5-1.
The second half was by no means a let down for the Pride. Sharpe believes the freshmen defenders, Tirzah McMillan and Morgan Bronk, are holding their own despite what the scoreboard may reflect.
“[The freshmen] are getting stronger and stronger. You put anybody on defense for 62 minutes of a 70 minute game and they can only hold on for so long. We can’t play defense the whole game.”
This is the Pride’s third straight loss after starting out with one of the program’s best records at 5-0.
“The focus right now is primarily offensively. We think we are not connecting with our midfielders and our forward lines right now,” stated Coach Sharpe.
This three game skid is not as bad as it seems because the Pride have played two top 15 teams in the nation during the stretch.