Although Ryan Malone and Danny Amato both scored for the hosting Springfield College men’s soccer team en-route to a 2-1 victory over Western New England University on Tuesday night, it was a save by sophomore goalkeeper Billy Schmid that kept the Golden Bears from tying the game up at two.
With 7:15 remaining in the game, senior forward Jake Bartnik sent a ball in from the right side of the box, which snuck past a pair of Springfield defenders. Upon receiving the ball, freshman forward Ryan Dickinson fired a point blank shot on cage, but the outstretched arms of Schmid denied the ball access into the cage, and kept the Pride up one goal heading into the final minutes of the game. Schmid eventually secured possession of the ball and tallied one of his three saves on the evening.
With the win, Springfield improved to 7-2 (1-1), while the Golden Bears fall to 7-3-1 (2-1).
“We played amazing today as a whole team, from top to bottom,” commented head coach Steffin Seibert following the victory. “We scored two great goals early which gave us confidence, and against a team like Western New England we needed that boost to be in the game, and once we were in it, we were in it.”
The Pride got off to a quick start, scoring the first goal just 5:33 into the game. Western New England senior goalkeeper Domenick Villano came out of the net and tipped a shot from Taylor Gilfoy straight into the air. When the ball came down, Malone rose above his defender and headed it into the net to put the Pride up, 1-0.
While building off the momentum and keeping the pressure on the Golden Bear defense, Springfield created an array of scoring chances. The Pride eventually broke through for the second goal of the game on a perfectly placed cross from senior forward Michael Fowler that found classmate Danny Amato on the backside of the net. The goal extended the Pride’s lead to 2-0.
“To beat a team like [Western New England], it shows that we’re always improving. The early momentum was it today. Scoring the second goal and leading the team to victory was huge,” added Amato.
Western New England was rewarded a free kick with 4:32 remaining in the first half. Golden Bear senior forward Ryan Murray sent a cross to junior midfielder Tim Murray, who headed the ball past Schmid to cut the Pride’s lead to one.
Back-and-forth soccer down the stretch kept both sides entertained, but the goalkeepers held strong throughout the remainder of the second half to keep the score the same, resulting in a 2-1 win for Springfield.
The first half was great. We came out flying and they weren’t ready for us. It was a complete team effort,” said senior captain Scott Saucier. “This win means we can compete with any team in the nation and we are getting better every day.”
The Pride will look to continue this success when they host NEWMAC-foe Clark University on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.