The Springfield College field hockey team (2-11, 2-3) fell 5-4 to Wheaton College (7-6, 2-3) in a vibrant NEWMAC battle on Stagg Field Saturday afternoon.
Springfield came out attacking on all corners early in the first half with a tremendous goal by junior Meghan McHugh. The momentum was in Springfield’s hand until Wheaton College fired back with three goals of their own by sophomore Jenna Rocha and two from junior Gillian Mann.
Yet Wheaton scored on back-to-back goals from Rocha and Emily Chick late in the game to seal the come-from-behind victory.
“Besides our good passing, we really played together today,” Wheaton’s back Gillian Mann said. “We knew that this game was big for the league, so we came out strong and confident. We were down twice throughout the game and overcame both times.”
Both teams had a spree of moments in the first half. With Springfield trailing 3-1, there had to be a transformation. Springfield scored two goals within the last two minutes when sophomore Kelly Gallo and Amy Dean found the back of the net to tie it the score at 3-3 heading into the half.
A back and forth battle characterized the second half. The Pride came out with a vengeance, wanting to take control of the game, when junior defensive back Jenn Califano scored off a rebound from Gallo to give SC a 4-3 lead.
The emotions were skyrocketing and the crowd was getting into it on a day of Breast Cancer Awareness. The passionate and anxious Homecoming crowd was a sign of hope for the team.
“I thought we played good and put it all out on the table today. The ball just wasn’t rolling our way,” Califano said.
“The Pride gave us a run today, they’re a great team and their record definitely doesn’t reflect their ability levels,” Wheaton coach Rebecca Begley said. “They have been a national powerhouse for years.”
The Pride will travel to Clark on Tuesday for a 7 p.m matchup.
Mark Loiselle may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org