By Kevin Saxe
On Saturday evening at Brock Affleck Field the Springfield College Women’s Soccer team cruised past Roger Williams 5-1 in the championship of the Springfield College Invitational. Coming off a 2-0 win over Pacific University of Oregon, the Pride used a five goal first half and some solid defense to ease their way to perfect 2-0 weekend.
The Pride came out firing on all cylinders on offense, as they scored two goals in the first 2:41 of the first half. Both goals came off the foot of senior forward Amanda Wright. Wright, who appeared in all but two of the Springfield’s games last year and started nine, has been thrust into a starting role with the graduation of the entire forward line. The senior has three goals in the Prides first two games this year.
Head coach John Gibson had nothing but praise for Wright and the way she has grown as a soccer player at Springfield.
“She has turned herself into a really good soccer player. She was pretty much a track star when she got here. She has developed herself, works hard, listens, and she really understands the game well. She’s the type of player that makes it a delight to be here,” he said
After Wright got the Pride off to a 2-0 lead, the Hawks responded just under four minutes later with a goal of their own from senior Jodie Lavigne to cut the deficit in half. After the early goal, which was the Hawks second shot on goal, they would not register another one for the remaining 83 minutes in the game. Despite the early goal Gibson was pleased with the way his defense performed.
“The performance was really built on all ten players defending. The way Roger Williams wanted to play we had to defend from the front with our forwards, with our midfield players and outside backs to give them no space. I was very pleased with the way they executed today.”
Offensively, there was no shortage of fireworks in the first half as the Pride released a barrage of goals and led 5-1 by halftime. On the night the Pride got goals from four players; two from Wright and one goal each from Kellie Gambell, Kaleigh Dale and Sydney Wine. Sophomore Sara Swetland also added two assists. Overall Wright was happy with the offensive performance but was also to credit another member of the offensive unit for her success.
“We talked in the locker room before the game about starting strong, and the way it came, Sara [Swetland] gave me a great ball and I was there to finish it, which needs to happen. We had so many opportunities last game which we didn’t put away and this game we did,” she said
Gibson echoed Wright in being happy with the performance of the Pride in their second game of the season.
“We scored some great goals. I think it was winning the ball in our attacking third, when we played the ball in we were able to find the spaces in the system they were playing, and we exploited it,” Gibson said.
A night after senior Jackie Davis earned her first collegiate victory, freshmen Bridget O’Connor followed suit and recorded one save en route to the win.
Despite two early shots on goal for the Hawks, that was all they could muster being outshot 18-2 including 10-2 in shots on goal. For the Hawks freshmen goalie Brooke Hathaway, making her first collegiate start, made five saves in the loss.
Springfield (2-0) will next play crosstown rival Western New England on Wednesday while Roger Williams looks to rebound at Connecticut College on Wednesday.
*Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics