By Kevin Saxe
SPRINGFIELD — Four weeks. That’s how long it’s been since the Pride have played a match on their home turf of Brock Affleck Field. In the time between home games for the Pride, they played six games going 4-1-1 and traveled nearly 1,000 miles via bus spending an estimated sixteen hours on the bus this year to and from games.
Although on Saturday, the Pride were home to host Mount Holyoke, who they blanked 7-0 last year in South Hadley. Springfield dominated in every statistical category and won 2-0. While impressive in their play today, Pride head coach John Gibson credited Mount Holyoke’s defense in disrupting the Pride.
“They [Mount Holyoke] did a good job all afternoon. They defended well, and they got behind the ball.”
While Mount Holyoke was able to for the most part keep the Pride off the board, Springfield was able to eventually breakthrough for a goal. Off a give and go from senior forward Amanda Wright to freshmen midfielder Kaleigh Dale, Dale converted on her sixth goal of the season, to tie her with Wright for the team lead.
“The pace that our team plays at has really helped me. Moving the ball just as fast, there’s not a lot of opportunities for me to get tackled because of how fast our team moves the ball, which is a credit to the team,” Dale said.
On the stat sheet, the Pride was a dominating as they outshot Mount Holyoke 25-1 including an 11-1 shot on goal difference. Even though Springfield, who also dominated possession, were unable to finish more of their opportunities, Gibson was happy with the way his team played offensively especially in the second half.
“We were patient and we switched fields a lot. We did our best at getting behind them and in the second half we played a little bit quicker and got in behind them a little more and accessed the attacking third more.”
After entering the half with a 1-0 lead, the Pride kept on pressing the Mount Holyoke defense and were eventually able to add an insurance goal. Off a direct free kick from junior midfielder Sydney Wine, freshmen midfielder Maddy Bonavita, who replaced Dale in the game as a sub, redirected the free kick past Mount Holyoke goalie Amanda Manaster to give the Pride a 2-0 lead with 22 minutes left in the game.
Although she did not see a lot of action in the game senior goalie Jackie Davis recorded one save in the win to improve to 4-1-1. Davis also recorded her third shutout of the season on Saturday. Her counterpart, Manaster helped the Lyons hang around in this game as she recorded nine saves in net.
Playing their first home game in four weeks there was excitement about being able to play on their home turf. Those feelings were echoed by Dale.
“So excited. It’s such a cool feeling to be able to play at your school and represent the school. We had a lot of students here today which was really cool. Just getting to play on your home field where you practice is a much better feeling then getting on a bus and playing away.”
Not only was Dale excited but Gibson was very pleased to be on their home turf as well as enjoying the beautiful weather today.
“It’s a beautiful day. We’re at home. It’s a big day with a lot of teams at home today. It’s nice to be part of that and to win makes it even better.”
With the win today, the Pride move to 7-1-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference, while the Lyons fall to 3-5-1 and 1-2 in conference. For the Lyons they next play Tuesday when they travel to New London to play Coast Guard. For the Pride they return to the road where they will travel to Worcester to play Clark on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics