Senior Jackie Moscardelli of the women’s soccer team and junior Ryan O’Connell of the men’s cross country team have earned the Springfield Student Newspaper Players of the Week award for 10/27/11 through 11/02/11.
Athletes of the Week for 10/27/11–11/02/11
Moscardelli netted two goals in the Pride’s 3-0 against Mount Holyoke. The victory solidified the women’s soccer team as the top seed in NEWMACs. The senior midfielder has scored six goals and has posted another five assists this season, putting her second on the team in points. The balanced offensive threat has been a huge part of the Pride’s success this year. The team finished the regular season with a 13-3-1 record and a conference record of 8-0-1. Springfield earned home field advantage throughout the NEWMAC Tournament. The No. 19 ranked Pride host Clark Saturday at the Irv Schmid Complex. The game begins at noon.
Q. How does it feel for the team to be ranked so high nationally?
A. Completing the regular season ranked is a great accomplishments, however, it paints a big target on our backs going into the playoffs.
Q. You scored two goals in the regular season finale against Mount Holyoke. What does it feel like knowing that you have helped your team in such a big way?
A. Knowing I helped the team get a big win on Saturday feels good. We knew the importance of the game and we knew the weather wasn’t going to cooperate.
Q. Do you consider yourself more of a scorer or more of a player who sets up the goals?
A. Definitely a player who sets up goals. Playing midfield allows me to get the ball to the forwards and make plays off of them or mostly allow the forwards to do their thing.
Q. How do you keep the momentum the team gained throughout the regular season in the playoffs?
A. Throughout the season we have won big games and overcome major obstacles that have placed us in the top-seed position just like we wanted. It’s important that we get a few good days of practice in this week since we don’t play until Saturday.
O’Connell finished fourth with a time of 26:07 and led the Pride to a second-place finish at the NEWMAC Championships Saturday. O’Connell has been a strong runner all season and was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference Team. Fellow juniors Anthony Salvucci and Zach Pietras, and graduate student Brian Fuller were also named to the NEWMAC All-Conference Team. MIT won the NEWMAC title, edging Springfield. Finishing second ties for the Pride’s best performance this season. Springfield finished second in the Smith Invitational back on Sept. 10. O’Connell will try to lead the Pride to a strong performance in this Saturday’s ECAC Division III Championships held at Williamstown, Mass.
Q. How is the season going so far?
A. It’s going pretty well. We got second at NEWMACs. We wanted to win but second is pretty good. We should have a good showing at regionals in a couple weeks.
Q. Are you proud of the team’s performance at NEWMACs?
A. Yes. I’m proud of it. Everybody raced to their potential. I got named to an all-conference, which is pretty awesome too. So yes, I’m proud of it.
Q. Springfield did great as a team. But on an individual level, how does it feel finishing fourth in such a big race?
A. It was pretty cool. I would’ve liked to stay with the top three guys, but I’ll take fourth.
Q. Seeing as you’re a junior and the team has other strong underclassmen, how do you think you guys will fare next year?
A. I think we’ll fare pretty well next year. We’re bringing back three guys from the All-NEWMAC team. We have a couple up and coming sophomores and juniors that will definitely step up and help out the team. I think we have a better shot at winning it next year.