By Hayden Choate
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College women’s soccer team had quite the day Saturday after their third win of the season — a 1-0 victory over the Endicott Gulls.
Freshman Adalia Malick scored her first career goal, the Pride extended their shutout streak to 251 minutes of play and head coach John Gibson collected his 250th career win at Springfield.
Malick’s goal came 38 minutes into the game to give Springfield the 1-0 lead which eventually would hold as the game-winner. Six minutes before the strike, Malick had a similar chance where the ball was passed to her zooming by an Endicott defender giving her a break, but her chance was denied by Endicott goalkeeper Kayla Wentworth.
The goal, which was set up by sophomore defender Heather Jennato began when Jennato crossed the ball to the front of the net, then took a deflection off an Endicott defender before finding Malick’s foot. Malick wasted no time in taking a ferocious shot over Wentworth’s right shoulder that broke the tie.
“There was just a ton of space where she was, and coach always says to serve the ball and see what happens, and it just so happened that she was there and she had a great finish, she was composed and shot it right in the back of the net.” said Jennato, on the goal.
Jennato has played a key role already this season on a defensive core that limited Endicott to only three shots on goal. One of those shots by Endicott that came in the 77th minute was turned away on a textbook punch save by Springfield goalkeeper Emma O’ Sullivan.
The 2018 matchup between these two teams which ended in a 1-1 tie, featuring 34 foul calls. Springfield head coach John Gibson knew his team was in for a physical battle today.
“I think we handled it well, I think some of the freshmen stuck some challenges which was nice to see, I don’t think it was a dirty game by any means but it was a physical game and we have to be ready for that because we aren’t a particularly a physical team. I was pleased.”
In addition to playing lockdown defense when Endicott presented dangerous chances for themselves, the Pride’s defense constantly made patient, effective passes in their defensive half. “That was what we wanted to do to make them use their energy to defend and chase the ball, as long as we get a good first touch and we made an early decision to play the ball then we can pass it around.” Said Gibson on his teams defensive play.
The season is still young for the pride but two shutouts in three games is a great start.“I think we have kind of a new back line so we’re really working hard and we’re composed. Today was really physical and a lot of pressure so I think we did really good with that, but overall I think we’re getting better as a back line.” said Jennato on the team’s defensive success early in the season.
The 1-0 win for the pride also came as head coach John Gibson’s 250th career victory giving him an overall record of 250-107-40. “I think I use the Coach (Charlie) Brock line, it just means I’m old but it was nice, now it’s nice looking at it, I wasn’t even aware of it but it was great.” said Gibson.
The Pride (3-0) look to continue their win streak Thursday night against the Umass-Dartmouth Corsairs (1-0)at home at 7 P.M.
Featured photo courtesy Jack Margaros