In the 21st minute, sophomore Belle Copponi had the ball on the right side of the field dribbling towards the flag. As she looked up she saw her teammate, Maggie Kennedy, trying to create some space for herself by making a horizontal run towards her. Copponi laid the pass off to Kennedy, whose back was turned to the goal. Kennedy turned, raised her stick, and fired a shot that made a loud booming sound as the ball hit the back of the cage to give the Pride a commanding 3-0 lead.
This was only one of the Pride’s eight goals in its convincing 8-1 win over Salem State. The goal was one of the games most impressive because of the raw power behind the shot. Everyone in the crowd could not help but applaud. Kennedy was 5-7 yards from the goal when she took the shot, so there was no doubt she would score if she put the shot on target. When the other goals hit the cage, they were barely heard. When Kennedy scores, her goals are heard throughout the stadium and maybe even all the way to Gulick Hall.
“When I swing back and have the power from my legs and my arms and the whole momentum all together, it all goes through the ball and goes into the goal. The drive is one of my favorite hits,” said Kennedy.
The Pride came out playing somewhat flat in the first half. Even though they rattled off 22 shots and held the opposition to just three, head coach Melissa Sharpe was not necessarily satisfied with the teams play going into the second half.
“It was good to see the second half. We came out with better energy and intensity. Regardless of the score on the board, we said we wanted to be more satisfied with how we were playing,” said Sharpe.
In the second half, the Pride were able to put away five goals to run away with the game. Coming in with a 3-0 lead, they immediately added two more within the first three minutes of the half. Ann Mahoney notched her fourth goal of the year when she hit a shot in the middle of the arch that was initially deflected, but slowly rolled into the goal. About a minute and a half later, Taylor Conley put away her fifth goal of the year, as she received a pass from Taylor Low and drove the ball in the back of the cage.
In the 48th minute, senior Paige Laperle led an impressive 3-on-1 attack towards the arch. She slotted the ball to Kennedy, who was to her left, and Kennedy hit a one time shot into the cage for a well-executed, textbook goal that gave the Pride a 7-0 lead.
Salem St. got their lone goal in the game in the last two minutes of the game. Marissa Penge was in the right place at the right time as she received the ball next to the goal after it was fought for in a pack of players, and she hit the ball in the lower left corner of the net.
The offense has looked very solid recently, as they have scored 20 goals in the last three games. The Pride look to carry this momentum into Saturday against nationally ranked MIT, in what could be the biggest game of the year. Maggie Kennedy has been waiting for this game all season.
“I am feeling eager. As a senior, [against MIT] it has been tough. Last year we lost to them in the regular season, and we had them first round in NEWMAC’s and we lost. I know we have a really good chance. I am ready to get out there.”