By: Jon Santer
It took until the 106th minute, but the Springfield College women’s soccer team finally broke through a scoreless tie to defeat the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in double-overtime at the Irv Schmid Sports Complex. With the win, the Pride improve to 3-1 on the year, while the Corsairs drop to 2-3-1 overall.
With 4:38 remaining in the second overtime period, freshman midfielder Julia Cormier sent a line drive off of a corner kick, and found the head of sophomore Jessica Miller, who placed the ball just past the outstretched hands of UMass Dartmouth goaltender Shelby Friedland.
“I think we had a hard time at the beginning, but we straightened things towards the end of the game,” stated Miller. “It was nice to score at the end. It felt great. We had so many opportunities it just felt really good to put one in.”
The two sides were evenly matched in the first half and traded scoring chances early. With 30 seconds remaining in the opening half, it appeared as if Springfield was about to gain a 1-0 edge when senior midfielder Karly Barrett was alone at the top of the box, but was pushed from behind at the last second, resulting in a shot wide.
Springfield had most of the scoring chances early on in the second half, with the most prominent of chances coming with 32:51 left in regulation. Junior forward Kim Rasmussen was taken down just outside the box, and was given a free kick. With a wall of UMass Dartmouth defenders in front of her, senior midfielder Ashley Carresi placed the ball over them, but the attempt was saved by Friedland.
“We failed to get the ball behind them which made it very difficult to play,” said Springfield head coach John Gibson.“The more the game carried on the more opportunities we were given, and we kept missing. I was pleased that we scored finally. I think we showed a lot of resilience because the longer the game went on the better we looked. It was definitely a tough game.”
Just 20 minutes later, with 12:01 remaining, Miller forwarded the ball to classmate Nicole Fowler, who collected the ball and streaked down the left side of the field. After getting free from her defender, Fowler fired a shot towards the right side of the cage, but a diving save from Friedland kept the Pride offense at bay.
The teams battled back-and-forth for the first overtime period, with Springfield getting a majority of the chances. Advancing to the second overtime period, the Pride continued to press the Corsairs’ goal, but could not solve Friedland until Miller’s late game heroics.
The Pride will look to build off their victory on Wednesday night when they travel up the road to Amherst College. The game is set to kickoff at 7 p.m.