Defensive prowess and a pair of unlikely goal scorers combined perfectly Tuesday night, leading to a 2-0 victory for the Springfield College women’s soccer team against Clark University at the Irv Schmid Sports Complex.
With the win, the Pride improved to 8-4-1 (4-1-1) on the season, while Clark dropped to 4-9 (1-4). Springfield is now tied atop the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference standings with MIT, who is also 4-1-1 in the conference.
Breena Salwocki, a senior midfielder from Newington, Conn., netted her first goal of the season just 28 minutes into the contest, when sophomore forward Nicole Fowler drove down the left side of the field and laced a pass in between a pair of Clark defenders, setting up Salwocki for a strike.
“It felt really nice to get the game-winning goal and be able to contribute to the team’s win,” commented Salwocki. “The team has been working on being more aggressive in the final, so it’s good to see that things are starting to connect, and that showed with both goals.”
Just six minutes later, Sara Dalton, a graduate student from Schenectady, N.Y., who was granted one more season due to an injury redshirt season, notched her first goal with the Pride since Sept. 18, 2010.
After receiving a pass from freshman defender Brianna Messier, Dalton touched the ball past her defender and fired a shot past Clark goalkeeper Gabby Paolini, giving the Pride a 2-0 advantage, and some much needed insurance going into the second half.
“It felt awesome to score,” said Dalton. “It’s been a long recovery from my injury two seasons ago. Last year I never felt back to normal and this year I am much more comfortable again.”
Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Myers, who posted a shutout and was credited with the win, has continued to be impressive in her six starts this season. The product out of Bridgewater, Mass. has posted a 0.76 goals against average, complemented by a .826 save percentage.
The Pride will look to continue their success in NEWMAC play when they host Emerson this Saturday at 1 p.m.
“This win was great for us,” continued Dalton. “We came out strong in the first half and that’s how we need to do it for the rest of the season. It’s good to get high morale in every single person and so important to have confidence for the last few games and postseason.”