SPRINGFIELD – Amanda Nusbaum received the ball off of a penalty corner, in a prime position to extend Springfield College field hockey’s 8-2 lead over Husson last Saturday at Stagg Field. She had the option to rip a shot, instead she saw Ashley Frank looming near the goal post.
“She is such a selfless player and has been an impact player but extremely selfless from the time she’s gotten on this campus,” head coach Melissa Sharpe said after Springfield’s 4-0 win over St. Joseph’s on Tuesday.
Instead, Nusbaum fired a pass to her teammate, who finished the goal, marking Nusbaum’s fourth assist of the day to go along with a goal in the Pride’s 10-3 blowout over Husson.
“Classic Nusi (Nusbaum),” Sharpe said. “(She) is smart recognizing where the keeper is, whether her best option is to take a shot or go for the corners and in that case, within a split second, she’s recognizing someone at the post. I’d say a lot of her assists come that way.”
On paper it seemed like a trivial goal at the time, as it gave Springfield a seven goal advantage with under 10 minutes left in the game. However, this goal goes down in history as the goal that Nusbaum broke the Springfield College field hockey records for career assists (32) assists in a single game (4).
“I literally had no idea. I don’t really know where you would find that information to be honest,” Nusbaum said on Tuesday. “It was almost better that I didn’t know. It made it better because I was totally surprised. It wasn’t something necessarily that I was focusing on since I didn’t know.”
Initially, she thought that one of her teammates set their own record, but when the public address announcer delivered the proclamation, Nusbaum realized it was her who was being celebrated.
“Up until that moment, we found out a play or two before. I didn’t know going into the game, (Nusbaum) definitely didn’t know. Once we were tracking it at that point, once we saw that play unfold, we were just waiting for that official announcement,” Sharpe said. “She’s really good at reading what’s in front of her and that was a classic example of it there.”
The record for career assists was previously held by Sarah Kelly, as she amassed 31 assists from 1996-1999, and Sue Bennet set the single game assists record in 1986 with three. With Nusbaum’s tacking on three more assists on Tuesday, she still has 12 games to try and break 40 for the first time in program history.
“It has kind of always been my game. I play right mid so it is a good feeding position. I can see the field on that side and it’s my strong side and feeds I can always just see really well. It’s just something I’ve always been kind of good at,” Nusbaum said.
With 12 assists in just six games to begin the season, Nusbaum is well on pace to crush the single season record for assists (15), set by Bennett in 1986.
“For her to break that record is incredibly exciting. It doesn’t really surprise me. That’s really the type of player she is,” Sharpe said.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Athletics