In a rematch of last season’s NEWMAC championship, the Springfield College Pride and Babson College Beavers played to a 0-0 draw Saturday afternoon at Brock Affleck Field. The tie brings the Pride to a record of 5-9-2 and 2-2-1 in the conference while the Beavers are now 11-3-2 and 4-0-1 in the NEWMAC.
“We played great,” said coach Steffen Siebert. “We have a few injuries and everyone else is just stepping it up a notch. That’s a top team in the country that we played here today and I’m pretty proud of the boys”
The two sides battled back and forth all day, often having scoring chances on the opposition. It was the Pride early on when in the 3rd minute of the match a through ball sent sophomore Kevin Nowak flying down the right side of the field who fired a ball just wide of the net.
Later on in to 25th minute, Pride sophomore forward Michael Desroches beat his defender to the ball and fed it to the middle for freshman A.J Vico. Babson keeper Jackson Klein charged the ball and broke up the play before Vico could reach it.
In the second half it was all Babson. Pressing the cage early, the Beavers forced freshman goalie Billy Schmid to grow up quickly.
“Defensively we were all there,” said the freshman keeper. “For the most part we were solid, and that’s what it takes. If they can’t score they can’t win. “
Schmid, grandson of Irv Schmid (Springfield College Men’s Soccer coach from 1947-85), has started the past two games and collected his first collegiate shutout against the Beavers.
Billy is doing an extremely good job for us, he’s really aggressive, and it’s really good for us. If I’m proud of everyone I am proud of Billy.
With just two minutes left in regulation time, Babson senior Jimmy Stento sent a ball from the right side of the field into a sea of players in front of the net. Sophomore Justin Laurenzo then got position on his defender and headed it to teammate Ayo Iwuagwu. Upon receiving the pass in the air, the senior forward from Lagos, Nigeria headed the ball just inches above the crossbar, thus sending the game into extra time.
After a dismal first overtime period, the teams stepped up the intensity in the sudden death second frame. With 8:27 left, junior midfielder Scott Saucier sent a through ball to the speedy Nowak who then fed it to the middle, anticipating senior captain David Chessen to catch up to the ball and fire home a game winning goal. As soon as the ball left the foot of Nowak, Klein attacked the ball and deflected Chessen’s shot wide left.
Following this, the two teams tentatively finished out the game, ending in a scoreless draw.
“Springfield is a good team, they’re getting better every day and they’re doing a good job,” said Babson head coach Jon Anderson. “They definitely had a chance to win this game, they’ve definitely improved this year and they’re ready to go for the end of this year.”
The Pride look to build off of the draw and will travel to Western Connecticut State University on Tuesday before hosting NEWMAC foe WPI next Saturday.