Assistant Sports Editor
The Springfield Men’s Soccer team scored two goals in the first five minutes of the game, aiding in a 3-1 victory over NEWMAC foe WPI Saturday afternoon at Brock Affleck Field. With the win, the Pride have improved their record to 7-9-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the conference.
It was a game of high emotion, for the seniors were playing in their last regular season game at their beloved Brock-Affleck Field. Midfielders David Chessen and Tyler Fletcher, forward Alex Reilly, defenseman Joe McSpiritt and goalkeeper Chris Walton all had solid contribution to the victory.
“Without the seniors we would not be here today,” said coach Steffen Siebert. “Throughout the season we had a slow start, we played great but the results weren’t there and the seniors were the ones that kept everyone on board and kept it positive. There are definitely big shoes to fill.”
Springfield got out in front of the Engineers early. Just 1:15 into the game, junior defender John Mankus placed a ball past the WPI backline, allowing for sophomore Kevin Nowak to beat his defender to the ball. The speedy striker from Plainsboro, N.J. caught up to the ball tucked it in the right corner of the net.
Just one minute later, Nowak was at it again. After beating his defender, he slipped the ball to teammate Danny Amato who lined up and delivered a low strike into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
I think we played very well today,” said Nowak of the team’s performance. “It was for the seniors today. They’re the best teammates I’ve ever had.”
WPI did not give up despite being down early. The Engineers caught a break when senior defenseman Sean Galligan delivered a corner kick to the box, finding the feet of junior forward Chris Ciampa who one touched the ball past freshman goalkeeper Billy Schmid. The goal gave Ciampa his team leading eighth goal of the season.
Looking to finish off the Engineers and advance to the postseason, the Pride put on the pressure late in the game. IN the 85th minute, Nowak once again showed off his speed by beating his defender to the ball, cutting to the middle of the field and burying a shot past goalkeeper Michael DeMarco for his second goal of the game.
“We played awesome, came out to a really hot start and finished strong which is all that matters,” said Chessen, a senior and three-year captain. “It feels good to get a win at the last home game of the season.”
Following the game, Springfield immediately ran to their phones to check the scores from around the league. What they found was that Babson defeated Coast Guard 4-0 which settled the Pride into third place in the league, giving them a Quarterfinal round bye.
I think we came out strong in the beginning,” said senior forward Alex Reilly. “We got everyone in the game which is nice. We got the win, and now on to the semifinals.”