With a spot in the NEWMAC tournament already secured, Pride field hockey faced MIT on Saturday looking to pick up a win on senior day.
The pregame festivities started earlier than usual as both team’s senior players were introduced. Each player received a bouquet of flowers and the Pride seniors were accompanied by their families. Springfield’s roster consists of four seniors. For Paige Laperle, Dani Sweet, Ann Mahoney, and Maggie Kennedy, this was most likely their last home game; a game that ended in a 4-0 loss to MIT, giving them the five seed in the tournament.
The Pride dominated time of possession in the first 15 minutes of the game. They held MIT to zero shots during that stretch. It seemed that whenever MIT possessed the ball in the Pride’s defensive zone, they would lose the ball instantly. Unfortunately, the Pride’s dominance of possession ended abruptly as MIT turned it around.
With 17 minutes left in the half, MIT received a penalty corner. MIT’s Emma Majercak took the pass from the corner, sending the ball to Amanda Garofalo who wristed a rocket passed Emmalie Drake to take a 1-0 lead.
Giving up goals off of penalty corners was a constant theme for the Pride. After MIT scored its second goal of the game, they were awarded another penalty corner with four minutes left in the first half. The ball found its way into the stick of Taylor Grey. She flicked a shot towards the net. After being deflected, the ball landed right in front of the net and Katie Notarangelo tapped it in giving MIT a 3-0 lead going into half.
The second half was a different story for the Pride. Although they couldn’t do anything offensively, they did possess the ball for a significant amount of time.
“We needed to change their mindset at halftime,” said Pride head coach Melissa Sharpe. “After the second goal, our team seemed tired and lost. They came out of the half strong and mentally prepared but unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize on any of our opportunities.”
The only goal of the second half was by MIT and once again came off of a penalty corner.
“Our players know where they need to be,” said Sharpe. “Today, we just had a couple key people out of position. Our team knows what we need to do but these mistakes can’t happen in the future.”
The score stayed the same and the Pride were handed a 4-0 loss in their final regular season game of the year.
After Saturday’s games, the Pride dropped to fifth in the NEWMAC standings setting them up with a quarterfinal game against Mount Holyoke in the NEWMAC tournament. Sharpe reiterated to her team that it’s a new season once playoffs start and that although today was a tough game, they need to forget about it and move on.
The Pride will take this mentality to Mount Holyoke when they start the NEWMAC tournament at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.