Despite a whopping 13 saves and another stellar performance in net from goalkeeper Anne Versprille – last week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week – the Springfield College women’s lacrosse team couldn’t keep up with the fast-pace offense of the unbeaten Trinity College, ultimately losing their first home contest 10-4 at Stagg Field on Tuesday, March 11.
Caroline Hayes, a junior midfielder and the leading goal scorer this season for Trinity, sparked the scoring effort for her team just over two minutes into the first half, collecting a pass and dodging right down the center of the field, firing a shot past Versprille to give her team the early advantage.
“We knew [Springfield’s] goalie was very good, so we really tried to work on shooting and finishing,” Trinity coach Kathryn Livesay said. “I still think we have some work to do there, but she played a great game. We definitely talked a lot about how to fake and finish on her.”
Trinity controlled the ball in Springfield’s defensive zone for the majority of the game, generating a total of 31 shots on goal compared to Springfield’s 11. In spite of the constant action, senior captain Versprille stood tall in net, stepping in strong to make numerous saves in close proximity.
Springfield was able to get on the scoreboard halfway through the first half when sophomore midfielder Heather Raniolo received a pass in traffic from teammate Michelle Dorsey, and proceeded to turn, shoot and score to make it only a two-goal deficit.
Dorsey was Springfield’s point leader on the day, tallying two assists and netting a goal of her own.
“We focused a lot on ball movement and how important it was going to be to move the ball fast. We knew that we had to tire out their defense and work the ball around before looking to feed. After the third, fourth, fifth time of swinging the ball fast and making their defense really work and move, we knew there was going to be an open player,” Dorsey said. “The girls worked hard together down below to get open and to keep making the defenders work, and I was able to hit them when they were open and able to be lined up for a shot. It was a team effort, and it really was all possible because of patience and quick ball movement.”
The Bantam’s offense soon established a rhythm and started capitalizing on some of Springfield’s turnovers. A local product out of Longmeadow, Mass. and Trinity College senior attack Shea Kusiak was able to jolt her stick up and bat down a clearing pass from Versprille, which led to a quick, heads-up goal from Bantam senior attack Kathleen Timmons.
The offensive surge continued. Minutes later, Timmons found junior attack Renee Olsen with a quick feed, leading to a shot placed in the top corner. The Bantam’s offense finished the contest with seven different scoring contributors.
“We were really spread offensively, which we were happy with,” Livesay said. “Molly Cox had a great game finishing for us and I thought Kathleen Timmons gave us a lot of senior leadership, so we were really happy with her.”
Springfield was able to close out the game with junior midfielder Emily Rodgers detecting senior Pride midfielder Emily Fowler deep in the offensive zone to notch a fourth goal for the maroon and white with only three seconds remaining in regulation to finalize the game at 10-4.
“We know we have to continue working on our shot selections and reading our opponents and making the adjustments we need to make quickly. We also know we need to come out with intensity at all times. Every game is a new game and together we can succeed at anything,” Dorsey said.
The Pride, who now stand at 3-2 overall on the season, will turn their attention to Amherst College, who has had an equally as strong start to their season as Trinity, returning many starters from last year and posting a 3-0 record to begin the 2014 season. The match-up will take place on Thursday, March 13 on Stagg Field at 7 p.m.