Late Tuesday evening under the bright lights at Brock-Affleck field Springfield College Pride women’s soccer (6-1) hosted the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs (2-5-1). The Pride came into the game looking to bounce back from a tough loss against Emerson. While UMass Dartmouth, coached by Kate Thomas, a former assistant at Springfield under head coach John Gibson, looked to get a big win over the Pride.
Springfield cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Corsairs, The Pride managed to get 40 shots on the Corsairs with 17 of them on goal. A big day from the Pride’s stifling defensive back was a key factor in the win.
UMass Dartmouth came out aggressively during the first few minutes, getting into Springfield territory early. However, only managed to get 3 shots off in the first half and one shot on goal. Play was very even for the next ten minutes, with neither team pulling away.
That is until Senior forward Mikaela Cody scored at the 24 minute mark. Only two minutes later Senior forward Kim Quiles also netted a goal to give the Pride a 2-0 lead. The girls seemed to find their groove on both sides of the ball after these goals.
The Pride’s stingy defense made it nearly impossible for the Corsairs to get anything going on offense. As for the Pride’s offense, they continued to get the ball deep in UMass territory and managed to fire off 8 shots on goal in the first half.
Freshman Sarah Swetland, who subbed in at the 22 minute mark for senior Mary Luiz after she went down with an ankle injury, made her presence known early by scoring her fourth goal on the season at the 36 minute mark.
Coach John Gibson spoke highly of Sweatland postgame
“Sarah’s a really good player. Her first touch is great, she’s a good athlete, (and) she’s composed. She works very hard (and) I’m really excited that’s she’s here.”
The Pride carried its momentum through the second half, dominating the Corsairs. The defensive back line made the day easy for senior Goalkeeper Ciara Boucher, who had two saves. Boucher currently sits atop the NEWMAC and is ranked No. 13 in all of Division III in save percentage (0.917).
The Pride’s back line is new this season as the four defenders from last season’s team graduated. The new defenders surprisingly have been great together, only allowing three goals through eight games.
“Our keeper and the back line were a little suspect Saturday (against Emerson), but considering (that) we lost the entire back line from last year, the four people we put together blended very quickly and we’ve been doing fabulously well,” Gibson said. “We had a couple of letdowns Saturday (against Emerson), but it happens.”
The Springfield College Pride women’s soccer team will look to go for two straight as they face off against Mount Holyoke this Saturday, September 30th.