By Tyler Browne
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College field hockey team improved to 6-1 with Saturday’s 4-0 victory against the Elms College Blazers. Three of the four goals came from members of the freshman class, with Lily Depew, Audrey Bresciano and Grace Majka each scoring a goal. Senior Taylor Conley had a goal as well.
Going into the game, head coach Melissa Sharpe utilized a unique training routine.
“We played basketball on Thursday,” said Sharpe. “After we did some film, we were just trying to get some concepts, like boxing out, rebounding with your feet towards the cage, so we actually went up and we hooked [some hoops] up for a bit, and I think it worked a little bit.”
Although this may seem like an odd way for a field hockey team to train, Sharpe felt that there was a connection between the two sports.
“The concepts [of both sports] are the same, they carry over in a lot of sports, and sometimes when you remove [the team] from what they’re seeing every day and give them a different look, sometimes it just sinks in a little bit better.”
The Pride definitely looked more like a team than they have in previous outings, capitalizing on opportunities and keeping the Blazers’ offense away from the goal. The Blazers made only one shot on the goal in the whole game, while the Pride made 18, 14 of which were saved by Elms goalie Nora Newman.
After a quiet first quarter on both sides, Depew scored with just under five minutes remaining in the first half. Bresciano soon followed up with a goal of her own, sending the Pride to halftime with a 2-0 lead.
Sharpe was pleased that her team followed through on her request for two goals in the quarter.
“We kinda told them that they had to get two in that quarter or else. That’s how we left it. The ‘else’ wasn’t gonna be pretty so I’m really glad that they stepped up with two,” joked Sharpe.
After a quiet third quarter, Kyra Ashe nearly scored a goal with nine minutes remaining in the game, but Newman made an incredible save, sliding out to prevent her from scoring. Just 30 seconds later, however, Conley scored.
Three minutes later, Grace Majka entered the game and scored a goal of her own just 20 seconds later, securing the victory.
This is the first 6-1 start for the Pride since 2007, although they have gotten off to a 5-1 start in each of the past three seasons. However, this wasn’t the only significance to today’s game.
Today, the Pride held their annual Childhood Cancer Awareness game, in conjunction with Team Impact. The field hockey team’s Impact player is Abigail, who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four.
“This is our third season with her, so our third childhood cancer game, so its great to bring awareness to something that’s affected a lot of families, and it’s great that Abigail’s been healthy for the last couple years,” said Sharpe.
The team holds the game in mid-September, right around Abigail’s birthday.
“We celebrate her with this game, and her birthday is actually in three days, so we always make this game right around the time of her birthday, so it’s a really cool thing to celebrate,” said Sharpe.
The Pride will return to action on Wednesday, when they will take on Williams at 6:00 PM on Stagg Field.
Featured photo courtesy Springfield College Athletics