SPRINGFIELD — When junior Alex Goslin, heard her name echo throughout Blake Arena during the starting lineups, she leaped off the bench and met the other players on the court. Though rather than a typical pat on the back or fist bump, junior Emily Jacques, a 6-foot-1 guard, held her hands high in the air, challenging Goslin, a 5-foot point guard, to leap up in order to get her high-five. Goslin didn’t hesitate, and earned it with ease, as they both broke out into smiles.
Though a simple act, it represents exactly what the Springfield women’s basketball team is all about: supporting one another, while challenging each other.
That could not have been more clear after defeating NEWMAC opponent Mount Holyoke 86-30 in the Pride’s home-opener on Wednesday — a game which every single healthy athlete on the roster contributed to. The team is now 4-3 overall and 2-0 in NEWMAC play.
Goslin and Jacques both led the way — Goslin with a team-best 15 points, five assists, four rebounds, and three steals, and Jacques with 13 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and four assists.
Senior Gracie Restituyo finished with four rebounds and 12 points, 10 of which were from a 22-0 run by the Pride to start the second half.
It was then the personnel on the court began to shift dramatically, giving the reserves a chance to show the home crowd what they’re capable of.
All five freshmen got at least 10 minutes of gameplay, including Steph Lyons, who scored her first-ever career points for the Pride, finishing the night with three. Forwards Amanda Carr and Bridget Reddington each made an impact in the paint. Carr earned six rebounds and four points, while Reddington finished with five rebounds and four points. Megan Graves had a variety of contributions, including one rebound, two assists, one steal, one block, and five points.
But for freshman Grace Dzindolet, this game was extremely valuable, pulling in seven rebounds, one assist, two steals, and six points. As a backup point guard, she was able to gain experience leading the team in only her seventh collegiate game.
“I thought Grace stepped in and did some really great things,” said head coach, Naomi Graves. “One of the things we’re having her work on as a freshman is having her work on commanding the floor like Alex.”
While this game proved to be the first opportunity that many of the freshmen were able to play extended minutes in, it can be intimidating to step into that role. It’s new. It’s different. It’s pressuring.
But not when you have the support that the women’s basketball team has.
The bench was electric, coaches and players alike, and the energy only grew when the starters had a chance to cheer on the reserves, often shouting at the top of their lungs and even getting out of their seats in anticipation of big shots going in.
“Our freshmen are awesome,” said Jacques. “Obviously freshman year can be difficult for everyone, learning all these new plays, and a whole new game of basketball, so it was just awesome to see them succeed.”
Posse takes selflessness to a whole new level, and it’s contagious.
“I’m excited! They’re good kids this year, you can see that,” said Graves. “It’s fun! It’s fun watching our kids with each other.”
The Pride now look to take this energy to Wellesley, where they’ll look to add another conference win to their record, which would make them 3-0. Tip-off is Saturday at 1 p.m.