By Ian Snowdeal
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College field hockey team took on their toughest opponent of this early season in St Joseph’s College of Maine. The Monks came out flat allowing the Pride to score three goals in the first half, leading to the Pride’s 4-0 victory at Stagg Field on Tuesday.
The late 8 p.m. start was in the favor of the Pride as the Monks traveled three and a half hours to get to Stagg Field. Taylor Conley snagged an early goal off of a ricochet save from Monks goalkeeper Megan Baker. Baker left the game with five minutes remaining in the first half with an apparent shoulder injury. She was replaced by sophomore Alexandria Simpson, who let in two goals on only four shots.
Amanda Nusbaum’s presence was felt again as she racked up three more assist to add to her all-time leading record. Nusbaum fed two assists to Conley and one to freshman Holly Rivers.
“She’s really good at seeing what’s in front of her and tonight was a great example of that.” said head coach Melissa Sharpe.
Conley added her second consecutive hat trick of the season and has now tallied 13 goals in a mere six games this season. Conley is only two goals away from tying her career high of 15 during her freshman season. She will continue to get consistent goal scoring opportunities as long as Nusbaum is there to feed her the ball the way she has all season.
Emmalie Drake had a stellar game in net for the Pride, as she accumulated nine saves on as many shots while notching her first shutout of the season. Drake has had a tough start to the season, but this looks to be a promising start for the senior captain.
“She was ready for this game,” Sharpe said.
The Pride came out with more energy than they had all season.
“I think the warm-up helped,” Sharpe said smiling as she was out on the field slinging shots at Drake before the game.
Nussbaum added, “We knew we were flat last game and needed to come out today.”
The Pride had switched around a few things in their warm up, including new music from the football team’s playlist, changing their last drill and getting goalkeeper Emmalie Drake more shots from the angles, which was something coach Sharpe said Drake had been struggling with throughout this season.
This was the Pride’s first win over St. Joe’s in two years, as the Monks ended Springfield’s 5-0 start last season.
The Pride will go on the road for the first time since September 1 against the team that ended their NEWMAC championship hopes last year in Babson. The game is slated for Friday at 6 p.m.
Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics