The Springfield College men’s soccer team finished its regular season with a 1-0 win over Western Connecticut on Wednesday night. The win brought the Pride’s regular season record to 9-4-3 with a NEWMAC record of 4-2, which guarantees them a playoff spot. They must wait until other teams finish up to find out who they will play. With a bye next week, the Pride will have to wait 10 days until they play their next opponent.
The game started without much offensive action, with the ball mainly staying around midfield. Springfield, with quick touches and accurate passes, moved the ball down the field in the 14th minute, but their scoring effort was squandered when Western Connecticut broke up a cross.
The Colonials got a scoring opportunity of their own when they were awarded a corner off a deflected ball. The pass was low and hard and was easily kicked aside by Springfield. The second chance was also fought off by the tough defense.
The Pride took good shots in the first half and nearly missed the frame on a couple of opportunities, one from 20 yards out and another blast from 30 yards.
Springfield also played stout defense and did not allow many good scoring opportunities. When the Colonials did have good chances, Springfield was there to block them, and the few shots that made it on goal were stopped.
The second half started with a fast offensive outbreak by the Pride. In the third minute, Springfield had a throw-in that was headed just past the near post; another close call for the Pride. Western Connecticut, was then awarded with two corners in a row, and both were kept out by the defense.
Springfield struck the first and only goal in the game in the 18th minute when freshman forward Drew Sommer hit the ball perfectly and it screamed past the Colonial keeper into the far right lower corner. The goal was assisted by junior midfielder, Alex Reilly.
Head coach Peter Haley is looking forward to the playoffs and believes that the team can build off this win.
“We’ve got to take this win, learn from the things we did well and also learn from things that we need to work on,” said Haley. The team played very strong defensively, but Haley also wants the team to “have a presence on corner kicks and free kicks that still isn’t in our repertoire yet.”
If those small changes are made to the Pride’s game, they could be very dangerous and make a title run in this year’s playoffs.
Nick Lovett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org