SPRINGFIELD —In a 17-3 second round NCAA tournament loss to No. 5 Franklin & Marshall, it looked as though, early on in the first half, that the Springfield College women’s lacrosse team had grabbed momentum against the Diplomats.
A goal from Gabby Fogg off her second straight opportunity at a free position shot with 12:36 remaining before halftime had cut the Pride’s deficit to 4-2. The score came two and a half minutes after a goal by Springfield’s season points leader, Kate Sarnacki got Springfield on the board.
Sarnacki’s goal was netted after Pride junior goalkeeper Brenna Keefe, broke up a Franklin & Marshall scoring opportunity by booting a loose ball away from the pipes for Springfield to recover off a groundball.
The Diplomats had started out with a 4-0 lead on the scoreboard, translated from three straight wins on the draw control and three straight conversions on free position shots. And yet, the Pride were within striking distance, down only 4-2 with 7:30 remaining before the break.
That was before Franklin & Marshall’s Marissa McGarey broke free from Springfield’s defense, and put the Diplomats up 5-2, with 7:16 left until the half. The score immediately shifted momentum back onto Franklin & Marshall’s side, and the No. 5 team in the country took advantage of this, by scoring eight additional unanswered goals.
Following McGarey’s goal, the Diplomats remained in control of the game, despite the turnover differential between the two teams only separated by three – a total in which the Pride led, 22-19.
The areas of the game that defined its outcome was both on the ground, and on the draw control. Franklin & Marshall finished the game at a 15-7 advantage on the draw a category in which it led 11-2 before halftime to go with its 10-2 lead at halftime. The Diplomats also won the groundball battle, 30-18.
The loss to Franklin & Marshall put an end to the Pride’s 10-game winning streak — a run through April that jumped them from a 3-6 record, to NEWMAC champion.
The Pride will graduate a class of eight seniors. Allie Goddard finished her Springfield career with 41 goals and 67 assists to go with 108 points. She is 4th all-time in program assists. Taylor Kane finishes with 168 career draw controls, 110 of those draws coming this season. Picking up 34 groundballs as a senior to add to her 137 groundball total, Amanda Nusbaum completes her fourth season as a crucial member of both the field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs. Andie Stone finished her senior season where she was named Co-NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Sarnacki, who scored two goals against Franklin & Marshall will be a key leader for the Pride next year, alongside fellow junior and the NEWMAC tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Taylor Pichel. Keefe will also be returning in net. Springfield finishes the year 13-7 and will return next spring to defend its NEWMAC crown.
Featured photo courtesy Sam Leventhal