On a cold Sunday, Pride women’s soccer took on the Marywood Pacers in the quarterfinals of the ECAC tournament. Springfield came into the game as the No. 1 seed and defending champion of the tournament. Marywood came in as the No. 2 seed in the tournament and with a ton of momentum after defeating No. 3 City College of New York Beavers 9-1 on Saturday.
The Pride controlled the game throughout and dominated Marywood en route to a 5-0 victory over the Pacers. Senior forward Kim Quiles and freshman Sara Swetland were key catalysts for the Pride in the win over the Pacers. Quiles led the Pride in scoring with four goals and Swetland led the women in assists with three.
This was the Pride’s first game since losing to 2-0 to MIT in the NEWMAC championship, with a win against MIT the Pride would have advanced to the NCAA tournament.
“I think that (the loss) definitely fired us up because that was a tough loss,” said Quies. “However, we have this opportunity and we are not playing just to go through the motions we’re playing to win.”
The women came out aggressively and almost found the back of the net only two minutes into the contest at 43:08 when forward Mikaela Coady sent a shot on that hit off the right post.
Three minutes later Swetland sent the ball to Quiles who put the Pride on the board with an impressive shot from the right side of the field to the upper left corner of the net.
For the remainder of the haf the Pride dominated time of possession and had many opportunities to score but were unable to capitalize and went into the break leading 1-0.
After halftime the Pride came out hitting on all cylinders. Quiles took advantage of a mishandled ball by Marywood’s goalie Aly Moyer, and scored her second goal of the day only two minutes into the half at the 47:31 mark, to give the Pride a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes later, senior Dakota Kelly found the back of the net at the 52:10 mark off a pass from Swetland. Only 35 seconds later, Quiles netted her third goal of the day on a pass from Dakota Kelly to give the Pride a commanding 4-0 early in the second half.
Springfielf continued its offensive onslaught at 60:43 when Swetland sent a pass to Quiles, who found the back of the net for her fourth goal of the day.
The Pride have dealt with injuries all year and another one came with about ten minutes left in the game when junior defender Aly Morell went down with an apparent knee injury.
“The irony is that the substitute was on the sideline ready to take her out because she played so well and we wanted to protect her from injury,” said Pride head coach John Gibson. “If I would’ve done it a minute sooner then that would’ve never happened.”
Despite the injury, Quiles is confident in the Pride’s chances in the tournament.
“If we keep playing like we did today then I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to win this (the ECAC championship).”
The Pride will continue its championship defense next Saturday in the semifinals of the ECAC tournament at Brock-Affleck field.