Entering Tuesday’s conference matchup against Babson, the Pride owned a record of 10-1-0 and were 4-1-0 in the NEWMAC conference. Springfield was riding riding a four game winning streak, but the 4-6-2 Babson Beavers looked to change that.
The game started off slow and sloppy for both sides. Neither team seemed to want the ball as turnovers were a constant occurrence.
The first real opportunity for either team was when Babson’s Emma Dineen received the ball on Springfield’s side of the field seven minutes into the game. Dineen turned and fired a laser towards the goal from 30 yards out. It sailed over Pride goalie Ciara Boucher’s head into the upper right corner of the net giving Babson a 1-0 lead.
The pace of play after that slowed down tremendously. The teams went back to the style of play that they had the first seven minutes. Both the Pride and Babson continued to commit turnovers and couldn’t make anything of their few scoring chances.
“I told them they needed to be first to the ball,” said Pride head coach John Gibson. “We lost the challenges in the air and on the ground and when we did get the ball, we seemed to go right into the pressure instead of moving away from it.
Ten minutes into the second half, Dineen did damage once again. Babson’s Kathryn Clark sent a pass down the field creating a two-on-one opportunity. Jessica Fernandes received the pass and turned down field. She crossed the pass the Dineen who flicked a shot just wide of the diving Boucher giving Babson a 2-0 lead.
The Pride bounced back quickly though. After a Babson miscue that almost lead to an easy goal, the Pride received a corner kick. Gabrielle Fernandes passed it to Kim Quiles, who fired a shot from the right side past the Babson goalie for her eighth goal of the season and cut the deficit in half.
Unfortunately, this was the last goal of the game. After a long 90 minutes, the Pride suffered their second loss of the season.
Gibson knew his team didn’t play their best soccer but he praised how well Babson played.
“They worked incredibly hard and were a tough opponent. They had a well thought out system that we couldn’t seem to figure out. Defensively they were very sound and they were direct to the ball.”
The Pride are still among the top teams in the NEWMAC conference with an overall 10-2-0 record and a 4-2-0 record within the conference. They will hope to bounce back at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against Ohio Wesleyan.