By Lucas Van Deventer
SPRINGFIELD — With six consecutive away games, Springfield College women’s lacrosse was bound to make a ruckus at Stagg Field back home.
Before last week, the Pride’s last home game was on February 28th. Their last two home games were dominant performances as they defeated Westfield State 15-8 and Coast Guard with a score of 12-8.
The Pride went for a tough 0-6 run in March and yet, the team is progressing to finish the season strong. The wins recently was a perfect way to bounce back from a losing slump in March.
Sophomore midfielder, Kate Sarnacki, talked about their fight and effort to change their game in a positive way after their slump.
“We definitely were challenged a little bit more in March. We had to play a tougher schedule and we were building as a unit every game. Now, going into April it’s NEWMAC, so we really have to come on top and we’re taking the games we played in March to build up more as a unit.”
Being home now put Springfield in a comfortable position to play at their highest level. Last game against Coast Guard, Sarnacki showed fans at Stagg Field her effectiveness. She earned the Pride four points notching three goals and an assist to the attacker, Taylor Pichel, contributing to Springfield’s score of 12.
In addition, Springfield College controlled the offense against Westfield State. The Pride held a 35-23 advantage in shots and won a combined 17 of 23 draw controls. Sarnacki led her team with goals scored with an incredible five goals helping their score of 15.
“After the close loss and turning point against Babson, we were really excited to get back home and have the energy of being here and have the fans here. The home field advantage is really felt playing on Stagg. It helped motivate us to start playing better and stronger,” Sarnacki said.
It’s a very different environment when playing home on Stagg field. Sarnacki was able to perform better with the team beside her and the fans cheered throughout the entirety of the games played last week. In the games to come, their ability to play as a unit will continue to be stronger and effective to add more wins to their record.
“We show up to practice and we push each other harder every day and our coaches are always challenging us with new drills and new skills to learn. We’re not letting ourselves be content and we won’t settle. We know how much improvement we can have and how much farther we have to go to get the results that we want,” Sarnacki said.
The key to the Pride’s success is working together on both ends of the field. The offense has to continue to attack and the defense has to make the stops and protect their goalie, Brenna Keefe from getting scored on. Working with the idea of always getting better and efficient will benefit the Pride in ways defensively and offensively.
Earlier in March, Sarnacki was optimistic of the Pride’s improvement going up against the toughest competitors. The team was still working on putting sequences together and their chemistry wasn’t all there yet. The team was beginning to build up their intensity and their fight to win games.
After their recent showings, Sarnacki sees much better ways how they can strengthen their chemistry and performance overall. Head coach Kristen Mullady is always putting in new drills in practice and having the hope of seeing their new found skills incorporated in the next games to come. Sarnacki already see their improvement in working as a unit, so the team has to continue to carry over their high intensity.
To end the week Springfield hosts Wheaton College, on Saturday at 1pm. The Pride hopes to continue drawing energy from the home crowd to add another win to the record.
Photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics