Springfield women’s field hockey’s inability to capitalize on offensive opportunities did them in on Saturday against MIT, as the Pride fell to the Engineers at home, 1-0. The first home loss of the season sends Springfield to 0-1 against conference opponents (4-2 overall).
MIT needed only five shots in the game to net the deciding goal, while Springfield took 19 shots that all proved fruitless. The Engineers’ goalkeeper, Evie Kyritsis, denied the Pride’s aggressive offense as she racked up 10 saves for the game.
“There was never a point in the game where I thought we were done,” Head Coach Melissa Sharpe said. “It’s one of those games where you dominate almost the entire thing, and they got one goal that squeaked through. We just couldn’t put one in.”
Katie Gill racked up seven shots for Springfield as they were shutout for the first time this season.
“I can’t say we didn’t fight,” Gill said. “We fought as much as we could. This one stings with going down 0-1 against the conference. We definitely have to come back fighting from this.”
Nearly 15 minutes into the first half, MIT weaved the ball through Springfield’s defense with rapid passing. MIT’s Molly McNamara concluded the transition by passing to Bailey Tregoning, who proceeded to cut right, down a lane parallel to the goal and shot a slow roller that just snuck past Springfield’s goalkeeper Timarie Villa.
Springfield’s defense was able to contain MIT’s offense following Tregoning’s goal. Villa only needed to make one save after the goal was scored. . In the opening of the second half, with 28:15 to go, the Pride’s Jamie Raccosta confronted the Engineers on a fast break and poked the ball from their hard-driving offense, rejecting MIT of any insurance.
“[MIT] takes free hits real quick, we knew we needed to pressure the ball,” Gill said. “Jill [Macdonald of Springfield], had one hell of a game, making tons of stops, and bringing the ball up the sidelines. It helped a lot that we had the defense bringing the ball up because it had their defense on the forwards.”
The Pride had their best opportunity to capitalize offensively and tie the game with 2:42 left in the first half when Kristina Krull was given the chance to convert a penalty stroke. Krull lifted the ball over Kyritsis, but it clanged off the crossbar, keeping Springfield off the scoreboard.
Springfield will travel to Amherst on Tuesday, Sept. 22 for its next contest. The Pride will look to avoid being shut down offensively.
Gill said, “We need to stay composed in the circle. We were panicking a lot [today]. We have to work the corners and work on finding each other.”
“Our focus right now is finishing on both ends of the field,” added Sharpe. “We have to start putting it in the net. We’ve done it; in the last couple of games we’ve been scoring. But you have to do it day in and day out.”