By: Greg Fitzpatrick
The MIT field hockey team started off strong and was able to hang on to the lead, despite Springfield College’s late surge, securing the win 3-2 Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field. Even though the Pride outshot MIT 10-9, the Engineers were able to win the battle of possession.
The Pride looked to have an edge at the beginning of the game, when sophomore forward Olivia Cabral ripped a shot for the first attempt of the game for Springfield at the 33:30 mark.
A few minutes later, Springfield came down the field attempting to get on the scoreboard, but after Cabral took another shot, the MIT defense stayed strong and cleared the ball towards Pride territory.
A nice clear by Springfield defender Tina DeGirolamo set up the attack in the opposite direction for the Pride. Just 11:24 into the game, Springfield’s Taylor Friedman put one in net for the game’s first goal. Friedman was assisted by MK Murray.
Just after the Pride took a 1-0 advantage, the Engineers sparked their offense. Junior midfielder Elizabeth Dethy took a shot on net but was blocked by Pride goalie Timarie Villa. Villa finished the contest with two saves for the Pride.
MIT continued to put pressure on Springfield’s defense. Just four minutes after the Pride’s first goal, senior midfielder Michelle Teplensky got MIT on board with a shot that went right by Villa. The score tied it up at one goal apiece.
After their first strike, the Engineers took off and never looked back. Senior midfielder Erin Kenney started up another solid possession for MIT. Kenney shot the ball into a crowd of players right in front of the Springfield net. Just 19:42 into the game, Teplensky took control of the ball and gave Caitlin Mackey a nice pass, which she fired into the net to make it 2-1 MIT.
MIT locked down on defense towards the end of the half and cleared the ball every chance they had. However, the Pride defense was more than impressive as well. Murray, Sarah Ducharme, and Jamie Raccosta made solid efforts to get rid of the ball from their own territory the entire contest.
MIT’s Kenney created even more pressure on the Pride defense. Just minutes into the second half, Kenney found the net to increase the lead to 3-1 at the 29:30 mark.
Some great saves from Villa kept the MIT lead at just two goals. Springfield needed a spark, and they eventually got it.
Sophomore midfielder Katie Gill was caught in a scramble just inches in front of the MIT net and found a way to squeak the ball through at the 10:53 mark of the second half.
With MIT’s lead in danger at 3-2, the Pride got a series of penalty corners, which gave Springfield a chance to tie the game in the remaining minutes.
Although the Pride had a great effort to come back, it was not enough for Springfield as MIT withstood the attack and held on for the win. The Engineers improved to 7-0 with the victory, while the Pride dropped to 1-4 with the loss.