By Danny Priest
As the schedule for the season winds down, the Springfield College men’s soccer team is doing their best to ramp up their play. The team hosted the Endicott College Gulls (10-5-2) on Tuesday night.
The two teams had history coming into that matchup. Last season, the Pride defeated Endicott 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The win was the first NCAA Tournament win in the program’s history.
Tuesday was not quite as successful as the Pride fell 2-1 with the Gulls in a double overtime affair. For Springfield (11-3-2) it was their second consecutive game that they went into double overtime. They tied WPI on Saturday and lost Tuesday night.
The decisive moment came with 4:35 to go in the final overtime period. Endicott’s Joshua Sousa crossed the ball in front of the net and Dario Neukom put it home to earn the victory for the Gulls.
Prior to the overtime drama, Springfield struck first in the game at the 29:53 mark of the first half. Keith Dixon set up for a corner kick and he placed the ball to the far post. Brad Deckel headed it towards the center of the net and Ian Zacharewicz made a nice play to slide and kick the ball on net.
Zacharewicz kick floated into the top right of the net past the keeper to give Springfield a 1-0 lead. The goal was the second of the season for Zacharewicz as Deckel and Dixon got the assists; the third of the season for both of them.
The lead did not last long for the Pride. Just 14:48 later Endicott struck back. Arian Palja crossed a shot in front of the net that was headed into the goal by Max Robbins. The score tied the game at one, and the Gulls went on to capture the victory.
Springfield had several opportunities to score in the game, but they just could not get a bounce. In the second half Zacharewicz, Deckel, Andrew Ma, and Christian Schneider all had shots that were saved by Endicott’s Jack Bacon.
Springfield racked up a 23-14 shot advantage in the game. They also had 13 shots on goal, compared to just six for Endicott. Springfield had seven corner kicks, compared to just two for the Gulls.
The game had no effect on the NEWMAC Conference standings. The matchup for Springfield was non-conference, and the team Springfield trails in the standings, Babson, also played a non-conference game on the night.
Springfield will return to action on Saturday when they wrap up their season and conference schedule when they play host to Wheaton. That game will begin at 12 p.m. and the seniors will be honored before the game.
Springfield currently sits second in the NEWMAC standings with a conference record of 4-1-1. They trail Babson, who sit at 4-0-2. Wheaton, the visitors on Saturday, are fourth in the NEWMAC at 3-3-0.
Featured photo courtesy of Helen Lucas