On a frigid and windy Sunday, the Springfield College women took on the NYU Bobcats in the ECAC championship. The game was a rematch of last years title game in which the Pride won in a penalty shootout, 2-1. Springfield came into the game off of a close win against Albright College in which the women scored two goals in the final six minutes to win. The Bobcats scored with 39 seconds remaining to win 1-0 against Grove City College, to advance to the final.
The Pride outlasted the Bobcats 3-0 in a penalty kick shootout to win back-to-back ECAC championships. Springfield was led by senior goalie Ciara Boucher who earned ECAC most outstanding player award for the second year in a row. Boucher had seven saves in the contest as well as the game winning save. Kim Quiles, Dakota Allen, and Boucher were named to the all-tournament team as well.
NYU started out controlling the game early on and had a great opportunity to score at the 18:10 mark when Springfield committed a foul and the Bobcats were awarded a penalty.
Isabelle Turner shot the ball at the bottom left corner of the net, but Boucher was able to make an acrobatic block. Turner regained possession of the ball and took another shot but Boucher saved it again.
The rest of the half was mostly back-and-forth play. The second half had the same theme with both defenses playing amazing and at the end of regulation the two teams were scoreless.
The Pride and the Bobcats then went into extra time where neither team was able to find the back of the net, forcing a penalty kick shootout. The Bobcats had an opportunity with 1:42 left in extra time when Alex Benedict shot a ball to the bottom left corner of the net, but Boucher made the save for the Pride.
Junior defender Aly Morrell took the first shot for the Pride and converted. The Bobcat’s Maddie Howard stepped up to take the shot for the for NYU, but was unsuccessful. In round two, Springfield’s Rachel Feliu connected on her shot, then Collie Delaney shot for the Bobcats but missed high above the net.
In the third round, Mackenzie Luiz connected on her shot which set up the game winning save for Boucher on Shannon Lee to lift the Pride to its second straight ECAC championship.
“Mentally I just kinda separate myself and I just clear my head of everything,” said Boucher. “I know that it’s not all on my shoulders to save it.”
The Pride were very calm and confident looking when taking penalties and head coach John Gibson joked about how confident the the women were.
“Last year when we beat NYU on penalties they made one out four and this year they made none out of four,” said Gibson “I guess we just have nerves of steel.”
As for Gibson’s future, he says he plans to return for his 19th year with the Pride next season, but he will come back to much different team as the Pride will lose a star-studded senior class.