By Braedan Shea
Although the Pride obtained home-field advantage by being the higher seed, No. 4 Springfield College (9-10) fell to No. 5 Smith College (9-10) 1-0 in the opening quarterfinal round of the NEWMAC championship tournament on Stagg Field on Nov. 1. After a scoreless first half, the Pioneers delivered what would prove to be the game’s only goal just over three minutes into the second half off of a penalty corner. The Pride, who had triple the amount of penalty corners and double the amount of shots, were unable to capitalize. After starting the season off just 2-6, Springfield turned completely around, winning seven of its next 10 matchups – one of which against Smith, and finishing the regular season with a 9-9 record, and 5-3 conference record.
In a double-overtime thriller against No. 4 Clark University (11-5-2), No. 5 Springfield College (8-7-1) women’s soccer team came up short in the NEWMAC Championship Quarterfinal, losing 1-0 on Nov. 1. In a game filled with missed opportunities by both teams, Clark got its big break in the 104th minute, when a Cougar header found the back of the net, proving to be the only goal of the game. The Pride had a couple of chances late in the game, but couldn’t capitalize on either of them, and they were handed a first-round exit. It may not have been the ending that the Pride wanted, but it was still a historic season; as graduate-student Kaleigh Dale etched her name atop the record books as Springfield’s all-time leader in points (128) and goals (54).
After cruising past No. 6 Coast Guard (18-7) in the NEWMAC Championship Quarterfinals, 3-0, No. 3 Springfield College (18-8) women’s volleyball team was downed in three sets against second-ranked Babson College (21-7) on Nov. 5. Despite great performances by the Pride’s top two players – graduate Ally Townsend, who led all players with 11 digs, and sophomore Riley Donahue, who led all players with 13 kills – Springfield’s offense was held dormant; only putting up 20-or-more points just once. It was a disappointing end for such a great Springfield season, but there were some silver linings: specifically in how incredible Townsend and Donahue played. Both were some of the best at their positions in the conference, as Townsend led the conference in digs with 505, where Donahue led the conference in kills (328) and points (405.5).
On Nov. 12, the Springfield College football team will make its way to Washington, D.C., seeking to retain the NEWMAC Championship throne against a familiar opponent, Catholic University. Just last season, the Pride beat the Cardinals, 28-14, to win the conference tournament at home on Stagg Field. This season, Springfield looks primed to repeat, as they seemed to have hit its stride. Coming into the game with a 7-2 record, the Pride have won their last six matchups, five of which were against conference opponents. Thanks in large part to its triple-option gameplan approach, Springfield has literally run through the NEWMAC conference thus far.
Men’s Cross Country:
At the NEWMAC Cross Country Championship hosted by Wheaton College at Highland Park on Oct. 30, the Springfield College cross country team placed fourth overall in the eight-kilometer race, with 103 points. The Pride were led by seniors John DeRosa, who displayed an impressive performance to finish in 26:08.3, and Aidan Harmer, who posted a time of 27:13.5, finished 17th and 29th overall, respectively, as well as junior Christopher Vayda, whose time of 26:15.5, was good enough for 18th overall. Next up for the Pride is the NCAA Division III Regional Championships on Nov. 12.
Women’s Cross Country:
The Springfield College women’s cross country program put together a seventh place finish at the NEWMAC Women’s Cross Country Championships on Oct. 30, tallying 211 points. Kate Bonanno proved to be the Pride’s top finisher with a time of 23:47.2, capturing 26th overall. Elizabeth Rose notched a 24:59.7 time, placing her 41st, while Elina Olmedo clocked a 25:14.4 time, putting her in 44th. Springfield will head to the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Championships on Nov. 12.
Photo Courtesy of Springfield College Athletics