With under 20 minutes left to play on Irv Schmid field Tuesday night, the Springfield College men’s soccer team found themselves in a scoreless contest with Western Connecticut State. Within the blink of an eye, spectators saw freshman midfielder Tim Wood put one into the net to give the Pride the 1-0 lead and eventually the victory.
The Springfield faithful then proceeded to celebrate after they watched Nate Madeira cross the ball to Christian Schneider who headed it and found Wood for the goal. The win not only made the Pride 5-0 but also gave them their best start in the program’s Division III history.
“It’s definitely an accomplishment to have a 5-0 start, that’s something we’ve never done before,” said goalie and captain Billy Schmid.
Schmid was not too busy in net as he needed to make just one save, while Colonial goalie Austin Tierney recorded ten.
The maroon and white were aggressive from start to finish, taking 24 shots as the Colonials (3-1) only managed to have three. It was only a matter of time for the Pride to knock one in after the intensity and effort they played for the first 70 minutes.
“The whole team contributed, we worked extremely hard on defense, we made the runs on offense,” said Head Coach Steffen Siebert.
The Pride had plenty of chances in the first half. Madeira made a pass to Connor Archambault who drilled a shot that hit the top right part of the crossbar in the early minutes of the game. Curtis Bolduc then made a great run to the left edge of Colonial territory and made a cross to Luke Alvaro who nearly put it in the net.
The Pride continued to create opportunities just before the half ended. Harrison Davis headed a ball that was blocked by Tierney. It ended up being the second half that propelled Springfield past the Colonials.
“At halftime, we always look at what’s working well for us and we also look at what’s working well for the other team,” said Siebert. “We made the necessary adjustments, and I think the second half, we almost shut them down to no chances on goal.”
Despite outplaying the Colonials throughout the game, the Pride played a very tough team that wouldn’t allow them to pull away. It was a type of game that Springfield wasn’t used to in their first four contests, outscoring their opponents 16-1.
“This game was a definite grind,” said Schmid. “It’s always a pleasure to be able to have 32 guys come in and play.”
Of the 33 players Siebert has on the roster, there are only three seniors. Some would say the lack of seniors could wave a red flag. But, behind the great leadership of the seniors and the great talent from the underclassmen, there is a perfect combination for a winning recipe.
“It’s a mix of both; we have the young guys who work incredibly hard and are really good soccer players.” said Siebert. “Without the leaderships of the older guys, it would not be possible.”
The Pride look to move to 6-0 on Saturday as they open up NEWMAC play on the road against Wheaton.