Efficient offense leads Springfield College field hockey past Wellesley, 4-1.

Darin MacEacheron
@darinmac323

The game wasn’t a high scoring affair, but Springfield completely dominated from beginning to end.  It felt as like Springfield never gave up the ball during the contest. The Pride had 24 shots on net compared to just six by Wellesley.

Springfield had plenty of chances early but didn’t convert them into a score until 14 minutes into the game.  Belle Copponi chased down a loose ball and flew down the far end of the sidelines into the Wellesley end of the field.  She had everyone beat, but when she went to get her shot off Wellesley goalie Maggie Connelly slid out and kicked the ball away.  Copponi stuck with the play though, stealing the ball back from a Wellesley defender and scoring the first goal of the game.

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Springfield’s Amanda Nusbaum lines up for a shot in Friday nights game. (Reef Rogers/The Student)

Five minutes later, the Pride scored once again. This time it was Maggie Kennedy doing the damage scoring an unassisted goal for her 13th of the season.

“Our goal was to get around 15 shots per half,” said Pride head coach Melissa Sharpe when addressing the team’s command of the game.  “This was one of our focuses offensively coming into this game. Our forwards were able to play at such a high level and kept the intensity up the whole game which was key for us.”

Wellesley was able to score on one of its limited shots with a goal two minutes into the second half but the Pride bounced back quickly.  On a three on two, the ball took a weird bounce in the air allowing the Pride’s Amanda Nusbaum to collect the rebound.  She flicked the ball towards the net and it barely trickled into the cage giving the Pride a 3-1 lead.

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The Pride’s Dani Sweet brings the ball downfield against Wellesley. (Reef Rogers/The Student)

 

Later in the half, Belle Copponi’s dangerous speed once again proved beneficial for the Pride.  Taylor Conley sent a beautiful pass down the field leading Copponi to a breakaway.  She fired the ball past the Wellesley goalie for her second goal of the game – icing the game for Springfield.

“I wouldn’t have been able to have such a successful game without my teammates,” Copponi said. “They played extremely well today and I was receiving perfect passes all night.  The defense and midfielders connected and the midfielders and the forwards connected.  This is what needs to continue in order to finish the season successfully.”

Sharpe and the Pride have five games remaining before the NEWMAC tournament.  Each of these games will be crucial for them as they are fighting for seed positioning.

“These next few games are very important,” Sharpe said. “But so will balancing rest and competition.”

The Pride look to continue climbing up the standings when they host Clark on Tuesday.

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