In their final home game of the season the Springfield College men’s soccer team hosted the Emerson Lions at Brock-Affleck Field. The Lions entered the game with a record of 4-7-1 and were looking to play spoiler for the Pride’s undefeated season.
Springfield would not let its guard down and secured a 5-0 victory over the Lions. The Pride had 19 shots on net and many of their looks barely missed finding the back of the goal, despite the fact that the team still put home five.
The game also marked senior day. Springfield honored its nine seniors before the game and also gave them the chance to start the game. The seniors: Tim Wood, Curtis Bolduc, Harry Davis, Cam Powell, Danny Murphy, Wayne Belcher, Christian Steidle, Douglas Enga, and Mitchell Ambruso.
Junior Nick Fontana, who had two goals in the game, wanted to send the seniors off right.
“The seniors have done a lot for us the past four years. They set the tone for how this program is going to be run and we wanted to go out there and work hard for them. Sending them out right on the home field was definitely added incentive.”
The first 15 minutes of the opening half was fairly evenly matched. Springfield controlled possession and had a few chances to score. The Pride could not find the back of the net with any of its corner kicks or straight attacks.
Emerson could not mount much of an attack against the Pride. Springfield kept its offense on the aggressive side of things, and their best look came on a Murphy cross to Nick Fontana that missed just wide right.
Twenty nine minutes in Springfield inserted part of their normal starting lineup into the game. From there, the team continued to get more good looks. The first half winded down and neither team was able to break open the scoring.
In the first half, Springfield compiled 14 shots, but only four of those were on goal. For Emerson, four of the Pride’s five shot attempts were on goal.
Junior Keon Haji stated postgame that it was important for the team to not get frustrated by the lack of results in the first half.
“Some little spark was missing. Coach is really good at picking us up at half time,” said Haji. “We feel completely different in the second half because he puts an entire different spin on the game. He gives the game a lot more perspective, and we came out fired up in the second half and it showed.”
That second half opened with much of the same where Springfield dominated possession. This time, it did not take nearly as long for a breakthrough.
Only three minutes into the second half Cam Powell was able to find Nick Fontana with a beautiful back heel pass. Fontana buried it and just like that the Pride were on the board with a 1-0 advantage.
Just five minutes later Dexter Tenn got behind the Emerson defense and executed a perfect cross to the center of the net. Fontana received the pass and buried it to put the Pride up ,2-0.
The offensive onslaught continued from there. In a span of only three minutes the Pride had three more shots that just missed. Emerson just could not get the ball out of Springfield territory, and as a result the Pride were constantly threatening.
“We changed a few things at halftime,” said Fontanta. “Obviously we didn’t score any goals in the first half, so we wanted to shake a few things up. We were able to keep the ball a little bit more, and that’s what created our chances.”
Finally, with 6:34 to play the Pride added on some more goals. Tim Wood scored on a good feed from Christian Schneider. Just over a minute after that, Schneider himself broke loose to tack on another, running the score up to 4-0.
The Pride were still not done. With 2:30 to go in the game Harry Davis scored on an assist from Danny Murphy.
For a long time it felt like the game should have been more of a blow out. It took patience, but when the Pride finally broke through they did it in a big way. The final three goals were all within a short amount of time and they simply wore down the Lions.
Springfield has a quick turnaround now as they play again tomorrow. The Pride has a 7:30p.m. matchup with Western New England University. That game is being played at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow and it is a non-conference matchup.
The Pride will look to continue their strong play and preserve their undefeated record against WNE.