Tuesday night the Springfield men’s soccer team drew a 0-0 tie with Endicott College. Although the Pride could not pull out a road victory against the winless Gulls, Springfield can still take satisfaction out of the game’s outcome.
It has been over 320 minutes since an opposing team has found the back of the Springfield College net. Elms College scored in the 80th minute of Springfield’s 6-3 win back on Sept. 10.
Since then Springfield has recorded three consecutive shutouts. However, the Pride were only able to get one win out of that stretch, a 1-0 win against MIT.
Springfield is missing its leading goal scorer from last year, sophomore Ryan Malone, who is currently out with an injury suffered last spring.
Despite the lack of offensive production, coach Peter Haley is content with his team’s performance.
“The opportunities we create are quality opportunities, not quantity, so we don’t need to switch anything. I think it’s working out fine. We’re in every game and we put ourselves in position to win,” said Haley.
The main proponent that has kept Springfield without a loss so far this season (4-0-3) has been its defense. The Pride return an experienced and talented defense led by seniors Scott Donofrio, and juniors Jake Miskin and David Chessen.
“Our defense has been pretty strong. It’s a team thing. Defense sets up the offense; offense plays defense too, so it goes both ways,” said Chessen, the second-year captain.
But the biggest surprise to the Pride lineup is freshmen goalkeeper, Brett Bascom.
Bascom has gone 465 minutes without giving up a goal. However, Haley doesn’t want to give all the credit to his first-year goalie.
“I think it’s one of those situations where it is a shared success story. The ten guys in front of Brett have a lot to do with that,” said Haley, in his 27th season as head coach.
The hot start isn’t something new for the men’s soccer team. In 2010, the Pride began the season with four straight wins and winning seven of its first nine games. But Springfield ended its season winning only five of its 12 remaining games.
In 2011, Springfield is determined not to let history repeat itself.
“[We can’t] get cocky, just sort of stay on task,” said Chessen “[We] have to come out here and do all the things we’re supposed to be doing and stay focused.”
Haley would like to see his team defense continue to play well and would like to see them improve each game.
“Our goal obviously is to get in to the conference tournament,” said Haley. “We want to be in a situation where we continue to play after the last regular season game.”
“We’re confident that what we’re doing right now is working and we’re going to continue to work on that.”
Terrence Payne may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org