Sports Women's Sports

Springfield takes 1-0 loss in NEWMAC quarterfinal vs. Smith

Luke Whitehouse

The Springfield College field hockey team looked to continue its torrid stretch in a rematch with conference foe Smith College Tuesday night. 

The Pride had won seven out of their last 10 games and five straight conference games as they looked to carry that momentum into the NEWMAC quarterfinal. 

Unfortunately for Springfield, the Pioneers came in with a different plan as they defeated the Pride 1-0, avenging their early season loss of the same score. 

The game started out slow, unlike the first matchup, as both teams were scoreless at the half.

Both teams, though, did have prime opportunities, especially Springfield, who had a great look late in the second quarter. 

Forward Grace Majka rushed past a slew of Smith defenders, and shot toward the goal. But, Smith goalie Rory Harper was there to make an unbelievable lunging save, sending the home crowd into a gasp. 

That was the story of night, as Springfield had three shots on goal, all being saved by Harper.

“I thought we had our chances,” Springfield head coach Mia Olsen said. “We couldn’t capitalize on them tonight.”

After the half, it didn’t take long for Smith to get on the board. 

Just about three minutes into the third quarter, Smith midfielder Eva Kinnel emerged from a scrum and pushed her stick through the ball and towards the goal. The ball barely made it past Springfield goaltender Remy Niland and hit the back of the net. 

As the home crowd once again sighed in disbelief, the Smith fan section, along with its sideline, jumped for joy. 

That was the only blemish for the Pride defense, as they played a relatively clean game. They held the Pioneers to only three total shots on goal and no scoring for the rest of the game after Kinnels goal. 

“We did a really good job tonight,” Olsen said. “I’ve never been a part of a team with so much heart and fight.”  

The Pride were eliminated and will finish the season 9-10. 

However, there are many positives to come out of the 2022 fall season. 

It was a step in the right direction as Olsen, in her first year as head coach, nearly doubled the teams win total from the previous year, while also going on an improbable run in the latter half of the season. 

“I’m so proud of this team…we just kept improving,” Olsen said. “[This team] brings so much energy and fire and relentlessness it’s hard not to root for them.”

Photo: Springfield College Athletics

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