Two straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference championships is an amazing feat.
However, a three-peat would put the Springfield women’s lacrosse team on a whole other level. Unfortunately, their quest for a three-peat was cut short by conference-rival Babson College in the NEWMAC semifinals this past Saturday, April 26.
The Pride, who finished their season with an 8-9 overall record, fought hard until the final buzzer but ran out of time, eventually losing 9-7.
Led by sophomore Connie Nielsen and senior Emily Fowler, Springfield kept itself in the game, but the Beavers’ offense proved to be too much.
“They are really good shooters and they work really well together on attack and our defense did a good job limiting their shots,” said senior goalie Anne Versprille.
With only a two-point deficit going into the half, the Pride knew their game plan needed some adjusting. Aggression soon became the name of the game, allowing Springfield to cut the deficit to one and putting the Babson defense on their toes.
The charge, led by Nielsen, Fowler and Michelle Dorsey, helped bring life and energy to the crowd and the team.
“We had a lot of individuals step up in all different games, and the three of them stepped up well this game, but I think it was a product of our whole team,” added Versprille.
Despite the semifinals’ loss, the Pride’s season can be seen as a success.
An 8-9 record looks mediocre on paper, but it also indicates how difficult Springfield’s non-conference schedule was and how tough the NEWMAC can be.
Competing against teams like Trinity, Amherst, Geneseo State and Williams College helped shape and mold the Pride into the successful playoff team that spectators saw at the end of the 2014 season.
Although the loss of seven seniors may seem daunting, the Pride have a great bunch of young talent that has already made solid contributions in their careers.
Versprille is confident that her team will improve next year and knows what they need to do if they want to get back to the NEWMAC Championship and earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
“It’s easy to work when you’re with your teammates on campus, but you remember when you’re at home, everyone’s working hard to reach that success,” Versprille concluded.
With four years under head coach Kristen Mullady’s belt, she expects the Pride to seek another NEWMAC title next season.