By Nick Pantages
The Pride’s offense was firing on all cylinders Tuesday night, scoring eight goals in an 8-1 thrashing of Albertus Magnus College. Their goal tally was their best mark since 2019, and Springfield scored a goal in every period for the first time all year.
The Pride were coming off of a shootout win against Wellesley over the weekend, snapping a five game losing streak.
“We had a huge win on Saturday, which really helped us get in the right mindset and have confidence in ourselves,” head coach Mia Olsen said.
The Pride were at an advantage the second the game started, as Albertus Magnus was down a player due to injury, allowing Springfield to play with one more player on the field at all times.
Emma McLaughlin opened the floodgates for Springfield, scoring the first goal in under five minutes after the ball squirted out of a scrum and fell to her at the back post. First-year Hailey Gaydos was able to tack on a pair of goals before the period ended.
“It feels really good to play like that, but you can’t do it alone,” Gaydos said.
Springfield was very successful defensively in the opposing half, with Gaydos scoring her first goal as a result of jumping a pass, and Kaitlin Bardellini was also able to set herself up in great position for her goal in the second period.
“I think we just have continuously been talking about having a pack mentality on defense,” Olsen said. “The moment the ball turns over, everyone’s responsible to play defense.”
Gaydos made the lead five just over a minute into the third period, and Bardellini added her second three minutes later. Camryn Morano scored her fourth goal of the season to make it 7-0.
Sarah Healy scored her first career goal to make it 8-0 in the fourth period, before Albertus Magnus finally scored its first goal of the game with 56 seconds remaining.
When the final horn sounded, Gaydos ended up with a hat-trick, while Bardellini had two goals and three assists.
“I feel like this was a really nice first game for our three game week,” Olsen said. “We just need to keep staying mentally focused and playing a full 60 minutes.”
The Pride have a tough opponent coming on Thursday, when Amherst College takes a visit to Springfield. Despite the average looking 6-5 record, the Mammoths are a dangerous opponent, as they will come in boasting the no. 14 ranking in the NFHCA Division III rankings.
“We have to practice hard for sure, make sure the balls are hitting our sticks and play our system like we have been doing it,” Bardellini said.
For Olsen, it is a much more personal game. Olsen spent her previous two years before Springfield in Amherst as an assistant coach.
“I know that team really well, so that game is going to be so special because it’s so close to home,” Olsen said.
On the field, Olsen feels confident that they can hang with Amherst.
“I think we can take forward that if we get the ball on net good things are gonna happen,” Olsen said. “We didn’t give up any defensive corners, which was really nice for our defense because we have really been having to defend hard these last couple games.”
The Pride will take on Amherst at Stagg Field on Thursday, looking to avenge their 8-0 loss to the Mammoths from a year ago.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Athletics.