By Danny Priest
WELLESLEY – For the second consecutive season, the Springfield College men’s soccer team is heading to the NCAA Tournament. On Saturday afternoon, the second seeded Pride traveled to Wellesley to face the No. 1 seeded Babson Beavers in the NEWMAC championship game.
The game remained a 0-0 tie for what looked like was going to be all of regulation, but then in the 87th minute, Springfield struck.
Freshman Andrew Ma hit a low cross in front of the net and senior Christian Schneider was able to volley it in for a score to lift the Pride ahead 1-0. The score was enough as Springfield held on to win and became the 2018 NEWMAC Champions and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
For Schneider, the goal was his first of the postseason and it could not have come at a better time for his team. Springfield had fallen to Babson earlier this season by a score of 2-1, so Saturday was a nice form of payback for team.
The win means Springfield is headed back to the tournament under the direction of first year head coach Tommy Crabill. Taking over for Steffen Siebert was no easy task, but Crabill has been exceptional guiding the Pride to 14 wins and another tournament appearance.
In the game, Stewart Frank had six saves for Springfield. Both teams took 13 shots in the game (six on goal for Babson, four on goal for Springfield) and the Beavers had one more corner kick (4 versus 3) than the Pride.
The Pride will now have to wait to find out who, when and where they will play as the NCAA selection show is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Regardless of the opponent, Springfield will look to build on their experience from last year, where they won their first NCAA Tournament game in program history.
Featured photo courtesy of Sam Leventhal