Erin Greenstein of the women’s soccer team and Ryan O’Connell of the men’s cross country team have earned the Springfield Student Newspaper Players of the Week award for 9/22/11 through 9/29/11.
Athletes of the Week for 9/22/11–9/29/11
A shocking loss and a double-overtime draw this past week did not stop women’s soccer goalkeeper Erin Greenstein from doing well between the pipes. Greenstein faced two shots against Amherst, one of them being the game’s only goal, but that did not faze her in the ensuing game two days later. MIT managed five shots on target that were all saved by Greenstein. The women were ranked No. 15 in the nation coming into the Amherst game and maintained that ranking entering the game against MIT.
Q: What kept the team going to force the draw against MIT?
A: As a group, we all kept each other pumped up. We had a lot of energy from the second half that continued over into overtime that kept us going.
Q: What was it like to have your first pair of road games last week?
A: Road games are usually pretty fun. I love the feeling of beating another team on their home field. As a team, we have to come into the game as pumped up as if we are playing at home.
Q: With both teams recording at least five saves, were there any significant periods of control, or was it possession balanced?
A: I would say possession was equal in the first half, but the second half and overtimes we had most of the control over the game; we just had some trouble finding the back of the net.
Q: As a ranked team, did that put more pressure on you and your teammates to get a win against your rival, Amherst?
A: No, we don’t go into a game saying we are ranked this high [and] we need to keep the ranking. We have to go into the game with energy and [be] ready to win.
The Springfield College men’s cross country team finished fifth (136 points) out of 16 colleges in the Purple Valley Classic Sept. 24 sparked by Ryan O’Connell’s fourth-place finish in the eight-kilometer run. O’Connell finished the race with a time of 26 minutes and 34 seconds flat. Zach Pietras would win best supporting runner if the award existed, finishing in ninth, just 11.3 seconds behind O’Connell. With a team score of 42 points, Williams College took first place. The team will return to action in two weeks when they travel to Boston for the New England Championships. The Pride’s best finish this season was the first race of the year. Springfield placed second of seven teams at the Smith Invitational. Since then, the Pride has had back-to-back fifth-place finishes for first-year head coach Bryan Brown.
Q: How did it feel to finish fourth in the eight-kilometer run at the Purple Valley Classic?
A: It felt good. It was a good confidence boost, running in the front of the pack and coming within six seconds of the defending regional champ.
Q: Is 26:34.0 a respectable time in an eight-kilometer run?
A: It is a good time for that course [because] it is hilly, and you’re also running through wood chips and mud.
Q: Was the race close between the top group of runners leading the pack?
A: The race was pretty close. There was a good pack for most of it, [and] then it got strung out towards the end and the winner ended up pulling away from everyone.
Q: What gets you motivated for meets?
A: What gets me motivated for meets is finally being able to compete and race after putting in all the hard work throughout the week.
Ricky Mazella may be reached at email@example.com