By: Alex Thomas
It was quite the scene on Saturday at Amos Alonzo Stagg field, as the Springfield College Pride opened their field hockey season on a beautiful fall afternoon. The Pride also celebrated the 50th anniversary of women’s athletics on campus at half time, and had a great crowd on hand for what would prove to be a thriller.
Springfield, looking to get off on the right foot, took it to the Brockport Golden Eagles in the early going of this match, controlling the play for the majority of the half.
The Pride nearly got on the board first after Golden Eagles goalie Kayla Kulzer had a miscommunication with a defender, leaving the Pride with a wide open net. It was just one of many missed chances for the Pride in the first half, who looked like the much better squad.
Springfield would not be denied for long however. The Pride set up two corner shots that resulted in great chances but no goals, but as they say, the third time is the charm.
Senior MK Murray found the back of the net with 13:34 to go in the half off of the third corner in succession for the Pride, who were finally rewarded for the efforts in the offensive zone. The Pride nearly scored again moments later, but Kulzer was there for the Eagles.
Brockport struggled to get any sustained pressure on the Pride for the remaining ten minutes and any chances they had were easily turned aside by sophomore Timarie Villa.
This game however was a tale of two halves, as the Golden Eagles came storming out in the second half and controlled the pace.
The Eagles fired chance after chance on net and finally put one home on a rebound as a result of a corner shot. Madison Buckley picked up the rebound and deposited it for the goal, starting off a half in which she was a major factor.
Buckley would have another strong chance about ten minutes later but was unable to beat Villa, who came up big on multiple occasions for the Pride in what was a busy second half for her.
With about 18 minutes left, though, the seesaw battle would continue as Springfield was given a corner. Linnea Quist took a beautiful pass from Libby Hart and fired it home to give the Pride their second lead of the game.
Springfield began pushing the pace again after gaining the momentum and nearly made it 3-1 on a rifle from the slot area.
As had been the case all game, Brockport got their turn and tied the game late as Abby Eschen banged home a shot to make it a 2-2 game.
Each squad got some quality chances late, but nothing could be settled in the full 70 minutes, and OT was needed to settle things.
Early in OT, Jessica Blind fired a howitzer that beat Villa and gave the Golden Eagles a hard fought win.
For the Pride, it was a tough way to lose after being up twice, but it was a good learning experience for the team before league play opens up.
The Pride continue the Zenaty Invitational on Sunday against either Husson or Plymouth State. The Pride open season on the 12th against Keene State.