By Joe Arruda
After receiving over 50 percent of the 70 votes that were cast in the first Springfield Student Athlete of the Week Twitter poll, Kaleigh Dale took home the honor.
Dale, the women’s soccer senior, contributed to both goals in the Pride’s 2-0 victory over Wellesley on Saturday, Sept. 25. Scoring one herself and assisting on the other, Dale is adding onto a career of point scoring.
Her goal came in just the third minute of the game when she drilled a shot from just outside the box. Dale then set up junior Kellie Smith early in the second half to secure a 2-0 lead.
Dale set the Springfield College women’s soccer program goals record as a first-year when she netted 20. She was named the NEWMAC Women’s Soccer Rookie of the Year in 2018.
The women’s soccer team split its first six games, all on the road, and owns a 3-3 record going into its first home game on Wednesday.
The three other nominees for the first Springfield Student Athlete of the Week award included women’s volleyball’s Camryn Bancroft and Sara Labadorf, as well as women’s cross country’s Sophie Curcio.
Bancroft, a graduate student, has been dominant at the net throughout her career at Springfield. In three games last week, the middle blocker compiled 37 kills on a .321 hitting percentage.
Labadorf, the Pride’s senior setter, has already racked up 105 assists and 29 digs over the same three-game stretch. The stellar play from Labadorf and Bancroft lead the Pride to an 11-0 record to open the season.
The women’s cross country team competed in the Purple Valley Classic on Saturday, Sept. 25, and were led by Curcio, a sophomore. Curcio was Springfield’s top finisher in the event with a time of 25:56.3.
Maitoe Suppasuesanguan has earned the first Springfield Student Athlete of the Week honors on the men’s side after receiving 57 percent of the 46 votes. The first-year men’s soccer player cashed in on a game-winning goal on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The goal, which was rifled in off a rebound just inside the box in the 87th minute, pushed the Pride past Williams.
“That was the best college goal I have ever seen in person or video,” junior goalkeeper Klay Knibbs told The Student’s Garrett Cote after the game. “And it was super clutch too, we were celebrating like we won the World Cup Final. It was literally the best goal I’ve ever seen.”
The game was special for the Bangkok native and Missouri Valley College transfer because his father was watching.
“I just saw there were three minutes left, and I thought to myself that my dad was watching and I really needed to help the team too,” Suppasuesanguan said after the game. “I’m really glad I got my first goal with that shot, and when I scored everything kind of stopped, it made it so perfect.”
The men’s soccer team has jumped out to a hot start, winning five of its first eight games to open the season.
Suppasuesanguan beat out football’s Aiden Lewin and David Wells, as well as cross country’s John DeRosa, in the Twitter popular vote that was opened on Sunday evening.
Lewin had a game for the Pride on Saturday, Sept. 25 as they fell just short to Husson. The sophomore linebacker had 14 total tackles in the contest, but his performance was highlighted by a 55-yard pick-six.
Wells, Springfield’s starting quarterback, ran for 64 yards on 18 rushing attempts in the game. He also completed four passes for 39 yards.
The men’s cross country team finished seventh overall in the Purple Valley Classic on Saturday where DeRosa’s time of 27:37.3 was the fastest for the Pride.
Each week, editors of The Student nominate four female and male student-athletes who have put together strong performances over the course of the week. Every Sunday, a poll is opened on Twitter, @TheSpfldStudent, for the public to vote.
Photos courtesy of Lucy Hamilton and Gillian Dube