As the weather appears to be cooling off to fit the fall season, the Springfield College Women’s Soccer team has started off hot this season. With a 6-1-1 record overall and a 2-0 record in conference the Pride have put themselves in position to claim their first NEWMAC title since 2015. Senior Forward Amanda Wright is happy with the teams start but knows that they have to maintain the level of play the whole season.
“It’s awesome to start off fast but, we do have to keep the same focus and mindset that ‘while it’s great to start like this but we need to stay focused on the future’.”
For the Pride who received votes in the latest D3Soccer.com poll, their lone loss this year came to Williams (The defending national champions) and they tied against a physical Endicott team. While losing may seem like something that could demoralize a team, for the Pride who lost 1-0 to Williams for the second consecutive year there was still positives to take away from that game.
“The forwards had to defend more in that game and we need to learn more on how to defend from the back while also getting up quickly,” said Wright.
While Emerson might only have a 4-4 record on the season, there was something going into the game that was intriguing. Not only was the game a NEWMAC game but the Pride were playing an opponent in the Lions that they had not beaten in the regular season since 2015. The lone win was a 2016 NEWMAC quarterfinal win 1-0. Last year at home the Pride entered with a 6-0 record before the Lions stunned them 2-1 for the Prides first loss last season. A proverbial thorn in their side the Pride beat the Lions 2-1 this past Saturday after trailing at halftime. Wright was happy with the way the team responded to being down 1-0 at halftime.
“Being down in the first three minutes is always hard to come back from. We stayed focused and in the second half we came out stronger and really played with them [Emerson].”
Going into this weekend where the Pride play Mount Holyoke, the Pride will be excited to finally not have a bus ride to the game. The Pride will be playing just their third home game of the season and the first since September 1st. The stretch of nearly four weeks has seen six games, countless games, and nearly 1000 miles on the bus (968.8 to be exact). Over the last ten games of the regular season the Pride will play six at home, including four of their last five at home. In that final stretch games against nationally ranked Amherst and MIT loom.
How the Pride Sustain Success from Early Season
There is no question this Pride team is extremely talented but for the Pride there are some things that need to happen for the Pride to have continued success down the stretch. One thing the Pride have done is avoid serious injuries through this point in the season. Every team suffers their lumps and bruises but last season’s Pride team, was decimated with injuries yet still won the ECAC championship. While there are players gone from last year, who keyed that run, we’ve seen through eight games this Pride team has went toe to toe with every team whether an easy win, or one where they had to grind it out.
Another key for the Pride is the continued success of whoever is getting the starts in net. Both seniors Jackie Davis and Izzy Inglese have combined to see the majority of the minutes in net, and both have played well. What will be interesting down the stretch, is regardless of which goalie has their number called, can they maintain the high level of play with the unpredictability of who starts? If the answer is yes then this is a team that can make a very deep run come the NEWMAC and NCAA tournament.