By Kevin Saxe
Williams, Wesleyan, Endicott, Framingham State, Brandeis and UMass Boston. This is a list of the opponents that the Springfield College men’s soccer team has faced in midweek matchups. The combined record of those teams is 52-27-18 good for a winning percentage .629. The Pride who entered the game 1-3-1 in midweek matchups would drop a hard fought 1-0 decision to the visiting Beacons of UMass Boston. Springfield College head coach Tommy Crabill was happy with the growth his team showed today.
“I think we grew in all phases of the game. I think we settled into a defensive faze for a good portion of the game but still played with confidence when we possessed out of it. Midweek games are always challenging not only preparing to kickoff but when you’re running from class and it’s a tough transition but I thought for the most part we did a good job.”
For the Pride in the first half they would receive help from both first year goalie Chris Prizio (Three saves in the half) and the crossbar. On two separate occasions on strikes from Beacons leading scorer Nilton De Andrade as well as Rafael DeSouza the ball would appear to beat Prizio but the crossbar would deny the Beacons the opening goal. De Andrade who came in as the Beacons leading scorer with twelve goals and eight assists would have his best chances in the first half but Prizio with help from the crossbar were up to the challenge.
In the second half it was the same story as the first half with UMass Boston having the better chances and the Pride unable to create chances. For the Pride they would have eight shots on the day but not a single one hit the target as Beacons goalie Omar Castro-Dreher picked up the win in net but did not record a save. Crabill pointed out the turnovers early in possession as the culprit for the lack of Pride offense.
“It’s tough when you turnover early in your possession phase then you never really get into an attacking shape. We were losing the ball very quickly off of a winning it. It’s tough to build momentum in those situations.”
For the Beacons who averaged over two goals the breakthrough looked like it would come just under 18 minutes left when former Springfield College midfielder Nick Fontana would have a shot on goal with Knibbs beat. However, standing in between Fontana and the net was junior defender Matt Dziemian. Dziemian was able to make the defensive save to keep it scoreless. However, Fontana would find the back of the net just over two minutes later to give the Beacons the breakthrough they had been pushing for. Despite not having any shots on goal arguably the best opportunity came with just under three minutes left when Tim Brereton’s header would deflect just over the crossbar. For the Pride who would give up just the lone goal, Crabill was pleased with the defensive effort.
“They score a ton of goals and to keep them to just one, I was really happy with the end line effort towards the end of the match.”
For the Beacons who improve to 12-3-2 they finish their regular season on Saturday at home at 4 p.m. against Western Connecticut State. For the Pride they will travel to Wheaton on Saturday at 2 p.m. in a game that if the Pride win, they will secure a spot in the NEWMAC tournament, but if they tie or lose then their season would come to an end. Crabill was brief but direct on his teams focus looking towards Wheaton.
“All eyes on Wheaton.”
Featured photo courtesy Josh Alvarado