From the opening whistle Trinity College controlled the game. The Bantams produced endless opportunities and were able to cash in with a four goal second half to lead them over the Pride, 4-1, at Stagg Field Tuesday evening.
Going into the second half the score was tied 0-0 thanks to the excellent play of Springfield’s defense. Trinity held a 17-2 shot advantage, nine of those shots being on goal. The one-on-one play of Springfield defenders like Tirzah McMillan and Allie Skinner combined with some pretty impressive saves by Emmalie Drake is what kept Springfield in the game. However, the second half was a different story.
“The start of the second half we came out very flat, which led to a goal from [Trinity] early on,” said Pride head coach Melissa Sharpe.
That goal came just two minutes into the second half. On Trinity’s 10th corner of the game, Kelcie Finn received the ball at the top of the arch, took a slick dribble around a Springfield defender and fired a shot at the cage. The ball was deflected but sophomore Nicole Quinlan hit the ball out of the air and it ended up in the back of the net for her second goal of the year.
“Unfortunately we reacted by just starting to play very defensively, instead of just going on attack after that goal was scored,” said Sharpe.
Trinity’s second goal of the half came in the 49th minute from freshman Kendall Brown. Finn had gotten in behind Springfield’s back four and was sprinting towards the goal on a breakaway. Trailing her on her right was Brown. As Drake was forced to come out of the cage, Finn put a pass right by the diving Drake that hit Brown in stride for her to put it in the open net.
A little over 30 seconds later, Finn delivered another Trinity goal as she weaved her way through the Springfield defense with her excellent ball handling skills and spun around a Springfield defender to finish her 12th goal of the year. Finn finished the game with one goal and two assists, making another case for the National Player of the Year award.
Trinity’s final goal of the evening came from Brown again, as Trinity was able to produce another goal off of a penalty corner. Quinlan received the ball at the top of the arch and hit a shot that got deflected and bounced around within the middle of the arch. The ball finally made its way to Brown, who was standing at almost point blank range of the goal, and she hit it past Drake to make it a 4-0 Bantams lead.
“It’s one of those games where we played a lot of defense,” said Sharpe. “[The defense] got tired back there. I think that is what the third and fourth goal came from for sure.”
Springfield’s lone goal came from Emily Knobel in the 66th minute. Paige Laperle had the ball at the right side of the arch and hit a diagonal pass to Knobel. She received it seven yards outside the cage and fired a shot that deflected off of Trinity goalie Lori Berger; but it was not enough as the ball trickled its way into the goal.
Going forward, the focus is offense.
“The biggest thing is creating scoring opportunities. We didn’t do it enough tonight. I think we actually had one shot on goal. You can’t put numbers on the board if you don’t shoot at the cage,” said Sharpe.
Springfield will return to New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play as they take on Wellesley at Stagg Field on Friday October 13th at 6 p.m.