By Braedan Shea
In one of its most physical games of the year, the Springfield College women’s lacrosse team found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard on Stagg Field, falling 15-9 to Massachusetts Institution of Technology at home on Saturday.
Even before the very first draw of the game, Springfield head coach Kristen Mullady knew that this game was going to be physical. “MIT’s always physical,” she said. “We’re physical. Those good teams are always going to be physical – it’s always gonna be a battle.”
Mullady was correct in her prediction, as this game was extremely tough and defensive — both teams combining for 34 fouls — and it was apparent from the beginning. To start off the game, Springfield’s junior goalie Haley Moody was on fire and single-handedly kept the Pride in it with a string of particularly impressive saves.
But she could only hold off the Beavers for so long, as a free-position goal by first-year midfielder Sydney Pyon found the back of the net and broke the stalemate. Three minutes of gametime later, an unassisted goal from junior attacker Ellie Rabenold put MIT up two. Springfield’s senior midfielder Katie Martel responded with a missile of a shot to get the Pride on the board, while also managing to awaken their offense. The teams went back and forth, with MIT scoring three more and Springfield adding on two, and was capped off by an incredible fading away shot from Springfield graduate midfielder Jade O’Connor.
The second quarter was much of the same — both teams playing great defense — and allowing minimal scores. With just 16 seconds left in the half, senior attack Taylor Pichel found the back of the net on a free-position goal; marking each team scoring two a piece in the quarter. But MIT wasn’t done yet. After winning the draw, first-year attacker Julianne Flusche connected with junior attacker Lindsey Gambino for a last second goal to give the Beavers an 8-5 lead at the half.
The third quarter was also as defensive as the first half had been, but at quarter’s end, controversy struck, and it looked as if the officials lost some control of the game. With 44 seconds left to go, MIT sophomore midfielder Meredith Arterburn was given a yellow card due to a hit to an opponent’s head, and was moved to the penalty box. Just 20 seconds after the penalty, however, MIT’s Gambino scored, even being down a player.
Following this goal, Arterburn attempted to re-enter the game by walking onto the field for the face off — but she was never supposed to. Players in the penalty box can only be removed if the goal scored comes from the opposing side, but not your own. The officials struggled to figure out what to do, but eventually landed on making Arterburn sit for her entire penalty.
The poor officiating carried over into the fourth quarter, as even with an uptick in physicality, there were plenty of missed calls. Springfield’s Martel was being treated like a pinata, taking multiple blows to the head — none of which were called. In between hits, MIT was seen scoring, putting the game out of reach.
Although the officiating may have been spotty, Mullady doesn’t put the blame on them, but acknowledges how it didn’t help. “When you have a game like that, anything helps,” she said. “The better the officiating, the better the game is going to be — but you can’t have everything perfect.”
She instead puts the blame on themselves. “We didn’t come to play.”
“When we show up to play, we do a really good job versus when we don’t show up to play,” she continued. “To beat good teams like that, we all have to show up.”
Springfield looks to get back on track Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. against Wellesley, bringing an end to the three-game home stand.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics