Women’s soccer loses five starters to injury and look to stay alive in NEWMAC playoffs

Kris Rhim
@Legendary_Kris

Storyline

Springfield College Women’s soccer is currently sitting at fifth in the NEWMAC standings with a 12-5 overall record and 5-4 in conference. The women have been injury plagued all year, losing 5 starters to injury. These injuries have caused many players to fill bigger roles that they were not expecting to fill coming into the season. With so many inexperienced players playing at positions they have never been at before, going far in the postseason will certainly be tough for the Pride. Luckily the women have a more than experienced coach in John Gibson at the helm. Gibson has done a great job so far managing to keep the ship afloat as the team has somehow managed to only lose five games this year. At times the women have shown flashes of being a great team, against Williams the third ranked team in the country the women played them tough losing on a late goal.

Player to watch: Mikaela Coady

Coady is in the midst of her best season ever. She currently sits at second on the team with nine goals and the overall points leader. Coady has been battling nagging injuries all season but continues to play through them. She plays tough and aggressive which sometimes puts her in harm’s way but she never gives up and suits the “relentless” mantra that the women have been preaching all season. In multiple games this year it has been Coady who often sets the tone for the rest of the team with her play. Against Ohio Wesleyan, Coady scored two goals within 21 seconds and only 13 minutes into the game. Her excellent play has rubbed off on her teammates as the Pride are having one of the best scoring years they’ve every had, scoring 45 goals with a game to go. With two NEWMAC championships under her belt, the Pride can definitely lean on her in the postseason

Outlook

The Pride’s overall play has fluctuated all year as they seem to play to the level of their competition at times. Springfield played amazing against No. 4 Williams and looked like they belonged the entire game and lost by one goal at the end. However, against physical teams within their own conference the women have trouble adjusting and playing with them. Emerson and Babson, both teams that stand at 8-4 respectively in the NEWMAC standings, defeated the Pride with their similar physical play. Teams will notice that the Pride have this weakness, so Springfield will have to look out for teams who may try to switch their style and play more aggressively against them. No. 13 MIT (16-1-1, 8-0-1) seem to be head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. The Engineer easily beat the the Pride 4-0 two games ago and seem to be on the path towards NEWMAC title. The only way the Pride can have any chance to spoil MIT’s run and even make it to the championship is if Gibson can find a way to keep the women consistently at their best. If the women can play at their best like they did against Williams then there is no telling how far they can go.

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