Wellesley field hockey’s midfielder Nikki Sharkin received a soft pass from freshman Cecie Negron. Sharkin, without hesitation, sent a long range shot across Stagg Field that blasted off her stick, and ripped through Springfield’s defense for the goal. The offensive conversion put Wellesley up 2-1, with 1:19 remaining in the first half on Oct. 17.
The Blue would go on to claim a 3-1 victory against the Pride, the good vibes continuing for them, as their winning streak reaches three, and record improves to 12-2. Springfield is on the other side of the same coin, as they drop their third in a row, their second losing streak on the year proceeding to swell. Springfield now stands at 5-8.
Wellesley’s goalkeeper Lucy Hurlock went two for three in save opportunities. Her only blemish came off of an opening score by Dani Sweet with 26:06 to go in the first half. The assist came from Kristina Krull. The goal would put the Pride up 1-0 for a period of time, but Springfield was held scoreless for the rest of the game.
“We just need to keep pushing it [offensively],” said Sweet. “After we score one goal we have to keep it going.”
Sweet’s goal would hold up until the 16:11 mark in the first half, when Hannah Flesch scored for Wellesley on an assist from Rachel Hwang. The ball fell from Flesch’s stick like a raindrop, trickled past Springfield goalkeeper Timarie Villa, and tagged the back of the net to knot the game at one a piece. Sharkin’s goal, which occurred 15 minutes later, put the Blue ahead.
In the loss, Springfield dropped to 0-3 when limited to one goal in a contest. They have scored just five goals in five conference matchups this year.
“We were in the offensive circle more in the second half than we were in the first half,” said head coach Melissa Sharpe. “But unfortunately, when we were in there, we didn’t capitalize. We saw positives throughout the game, but it wasn’t consistent to score any goals for us.”
Springfield attacked the 3 seed in the NEWMAC with their defense, constantly striding in front of Wellesley, and slamming their sticks towards the ground to block passing lanes.
“We’ve tried to be aggressive [throughout] most of the season,” said Sharpe. “We had Jill Macdonald out for a couple of games, she was back for us today. That was big, I think that set our tone on defense.”
Wellesley’s Anissa Sridhar, who was held from the goal throughout the contest by the Pride’s defense, finally prevailed at 16:51 in the second half, when she tacked on an insurance goal for the Blue.
The fatal blow however, came from Sharkin when her shot blew through Springfield’s defense, which is precisely how Wellesley has played all year. They blasted through opponents with an eight game winning streak to begin the year. Now they are looking to tear through the competition with another win streak.
For the Pride, the road ahead consists of meetings with Clark University and Johnson & Wales, which are both away games. They will look to string together a win streak with five games remaining in the season. “We’d like to be above .500,” Sharpe said. “We’re [going through] a tough stretch right now, [we have lost] a lot of close games. But it’s not a skill issue.”