Gametime: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Stagg Field on the campus of Springfield College
Implications: Things are tight near the top of the NEWMAC standings with four teams tied for second place behind Babson; MIT and Springfield are two of those teams. This game could end up being huge for seeding in the conference tournament.
Record: 8-5 [3-1]
MIT’s man-up unit is not exactly the greatest; in fact, the team has the lowest man-up success rating in the conference (17.4 percent). The second-lowest is Emerson (20.4 percent).
This means that Springfield shouldn’t be afraid to get physical; which they usually aren’t anyway.
The Pride’s energy grows every time there is a big play; a few solid and clean checks fit into that category.
When going against a conference opponent things are bound to get chippy. If Springfield finds itself man-down at times in the game because of physical play, the one-minute penalty might be worth it if it get’s the team energized.
Off to the races
It has been Springfield strength all season; transition offense.
When the Pride cause a turnover on one end of the field and have numbers going the other way, it’s extremely tough to stop.
What makes it so tough to slow down is that Springfield doesn’t have a real “go-to guy” offensivly that the other team can account for and shut down.
Every midfielder and attack-man the Pride put on the field brings a different kind of style to the table; this makes it hard for teams on the defensive end to know exactly what to expect.
Springfield leads the NEWMAC in total goals (157) and goals per-game (12.08). A good portion of the goals have come from transition opportunities.
If the Pride can create turnovers during MIT’s offensive sets, maybe even break up a few clears and fly downfield, Springfield should cruise.
Record: 7-5 [3-1]
It appears that the Engineers have been rolling with two goalies this season. Victor Fink has started the most games (6) between the pipes, but Alexander Lynch has started the last three games.
Fink boasts a GAA of 9.15; Lynch has a GAA of 10.2.
On the season, Fink is 5-2; Lynch is 2-3.
Having two goalies gives MIT the opportunity to give Springfield different looks and makes it more difficult for offensive players to find tendencies and weaknesses.
With the uncertainty around who will get the start, the Pride are going to have to be creative and prepared for anything offensively.
Feed your best player
It’s tough, especially in the talented NEWMAC conference, to ride one player to victory game after game; but if there is one offensive player that a team can do that with, it’s probably Graham Davis.
Davis is currently the goal-scoring leader in the NEWMAC with 37 through 12 games; that comes out to 3.08 goals per-game. The second player in goals on the team is Nicolas Gianni with 17 goals. Davis also leads the team in assists with 17.
Not including Davis, the Engineers have four players with at least 10 goals, but Davis is clearly their man offensively.
Expect to see a lot of early slides defensively from Springfield to try and slow him down.
It would be a gutsy move, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Box-and-One defensive formation from the Pride either. Anything they can do to slow down Davis is surely on the table.
Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics.