By Hayden Choate
SPRINGFIELD — With 29 minutes left in the second half the Springfield College women’s soccer team netted the game’s only goal en route to 1-0 over fellow NEWMAC opponent Clark University Tuesday afternoon.
Both teams went back and forth trading chances but the two teams defenses came ready to play. Senior midfielder Sydney Wine’s shot stayed on the ground but beat Clark’s goalie sophomore Morgan Small to break the scoreless tie and win the game.
Springfield had a tough start to the game with Clark mounting time in their attacking zone, the ball stayed on the Pride’s side of the field for most of the first half. However, Springfield defense held strong and picked up their fifth shutout of the season.
“I thought Clark were good, they worked incredibly hard, I thought they moved the ball better than us in the first half,” said Springfield head coach John Gibson.
In the second half, the Pride came out with a better start and had more offensive looks but their best chance of the day came when a Clark defender tried to get the ball out of danger and kicked it right to Wine who capitalized on the opportunity.
With 15 minutes left in the second half, Springfield began to create more chances trying to get an insurance goal but Clark would not go away.
With just over four minutes remaining Clark was pressuring Springfield when a Springfield defender tried to make a play on the ball close to a Clark players face. The ref blew the whistle indicating a foul. However, instead of a penalty kick there would be an indirect kick from inside the box to the right of where a penalty kick would be shot from. A play that does happen in soccer but is so rare, Gibson can’t remember it happening before in his twenty years as head coach.
Clark Sophomore Jamie Joseph took the shot for the Cougars and with a pack of five Springfield defenders rushing toward her to block her shot from point blank, it got through. Springfield sophomore Kinsey Colby was standing on the goal line ready for the ball to come to her and it did. The shot was saved by Colby’s right foot and instantly cleared out protecting the lead for the Pride.
Springfield would then get a great play by senior Renee Melisse who beat the Clark goalkeeper to a loose ball outside the box, touched the ball with her left foot behind right, getting away from the goalkeeper before scoring, but the goal was called back due to offside.
The pride’s defense was tested all game and with the shutout they have now given up one goal in their last three games. Said Gibson, “That’s the first time this season we’ve played under that much pressure and not given up a goal.”
Springfield has a busy schedule ahead of them, traveling to Wellesley on Saturday and to Amherst on Monday before coming back home to take on Babson in NEWMAC action next Wednesday.
Featured photo courtesy Jack Margaros