By Chris Gionta
The Springfield men’s soccer team lost in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals to Rutgers-Camden on Saturday afternoon at Brock-Affleck Field by a score of 1-0.
There was potential for scoring in the first 10 minutes of the first half when Rutgers-Camden was able to get three corner kicks by the time 8:08 had passed in the half. However, those chances did not result in any shots on goal. From that point through the end of the half, the ball seemed to be permanently in the middle of the field, with Springfield and Rutgers-Camden playing extremely evenly. The game did not see a shot on goal until 43:58 had passed in the game. The game was scoreless through halftime.
The Scarlet Raptors had a couple of more scoring opportunities to start the second half, but a good offensive attack by Parker Solowey resulted in a shot that was inches above the crossbar, and a corner kick soon after that did not lead to anything either.
Almost 20 minutes into the second half, the Pride got a couple opportunities of their own with two corner kicks within a minute of each other, but they also did not lead to shots on goals.
The action picked up in the last fifteen minutes of regulation, where the teams combined for seven shots. Springfield’s best offensive opportunity came with less than 11 minutes to go in regulation. Thomas Sojka was coming from the left side and took a well-executed open shot, yet it landed in the Rutgers-Camden goalkeeper’s hands after sprawling out to his right for the impressive save.
After it was scoreless through regulation, overtime commenced. With overtime came sudden heavy rain as well.
About midway through the 10-minute overtime period, Rutgers-Camden established control of the ball. They garnered four corner kicks within a minute of each other, and the final of them resulted in a goal for the Scarlet Raptors by Christian McCartney.
After a hard-fought tournament game that ended in an unfortunate manner, Pride players were understandably devastated. A few members were still sprawled out on the field in emotional turbulence as Rutgers-Camden went to their side to celebrate moving on in the ECAC tournament.
For many players, this was their final appearance on the pitch. Their time may not have ended in ideal fashion, however, it can not be denied that the team scratched and clawed to get everything they got. It would be a surprise if a Springfield player were to feel like they could have left more on the field as they head into the offseason.
Photo: Danielle Schmelling/The Student