The Springfield College women’s lacrosse team has taken the field for the 2014 season in dramatic fashion, sticking it to Eastern Connecticut State University 19-1 in their home opener on Stagg Field, Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Leading the rush was senior captain attack, Kelly Gallo, who notched four goals on five shots and two assists accompanied by junior attack Jennifer McDonough, who was also able to shake the netting on five occasions. At the end of the contest, nine different Springfield contributors had found the net at least once.
The offensive output they showcased speaks to the Pride’s young talented squad. They are led this year by captains Gallo, midfielder Emily Fowler, and goalkeeper Anne Versprille. All three players share a similar goal: get past the first round of NCAAs. The past two years the Pride have clinched NEWMAC championships, and fallen in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Our goal always is to win NEWMACs and advance to the NCAA Tournament,” Versprille went on. “We’ve got knocked out in the first round of NCAAs the past two years, so we are working to win NEWMACs, [and] then to make the next step.”
Last year the maroon and white looked as if they were going to advance against Endicott College. Midfielder Michelle Dorsey was able to find the net twice in the first half to give Springfield the 2-0 lead before giving up four and ultimately losing the contest 4-3 and ending the season short of their sights for the second-straight year.
This season, coach Kristen Mullady is changing it up a bit in hopes of generating some more offense.
“We do have some different players on attack; we have mixed it up a little with some of our attack who is now playing mid just to give us some more options, but we have talked a lot about practices being more versatile as a team and not just driving the cage, having some options off the ball, setting screens and having more assists,” said Mullady.
Springfield is returning three of their main offensive producers from last season. Dorsey is a junior midfielder who finished last season with 35 goals and eight assists, while midfielder Connie Nielsen is a sophomore who was last year’s goal-leader, tallying 37 goals as well as five assists. Last but certainly not least is Gallo, who concluded her junior season with 27 goals complemented by six assists. Dorsey, Nielsen and Versprille were all named to the 2013 NEWMAC Women’s Lacrosse All-Conference team.
The Pride have all the elements this year to capture a third NEWMAC title and chase their vision of surpassing round one of the NCAA Tournament. Coming off of their dominant victory over Eastern Connecticut State University, the Pride will now focus their attention to Roger Williams, who they square up against on March 1.