By Braedan Shea
Although the scoreboard on Stagg Field was not in Springfield College’s favor by time the horn blared to bring a conclusion to the game; the Pride stayed optimistic, and were still able to find some silver linings in their 15-9 home loss Thursday against No. 18 Trinity College.
“Well we look more conditioned, moreso every game which is good,” said head coach Kristen Mullady. “Our urgency was there the entire game; we did some things on attack and defense that are just higher level skill sets against a really good team － that was impressive. We just had too many lapses. If we have these kinds of lapses against good teams like that, we’re not going to capitalize.”
“They are a good team,” added graduate attacker Jade O’Connor. “I mean they are ranked, so I think that when we get to play teams like this we realize that one goal that we didn’t get resulted in one goal that they did get. It is little things like that we need to clean up and make sure that we don’t have those little lapses.”
In the final quarter, the “too many lapses” were very prevalent, as Springfield dug itself a hole that turned out to be too deep to get out of. The Pride did open up the quarter with two quick goals, which were both scored by senior midfielder Katie Martel. They came with 13:56 and 11:30 left to play, and cut the Bantam down to 10-8. But in the next ten minutes of play, five unanswered goals by Trinity and some crucial turnovers by Springfield down the line removed any chance of a comeback.
The game began as a defensive battle, with the first goal not coming until an unassisted strike by Bantam senior attack Ellie Kirkpatrick found the back of the net at 7:10 in the first quarter. Springfield’s O’Connor had a quick response － throwing in a bouncing shot coming off of a great feed from sophomore midfielder Maddy Roy. Trinity and Springfield each traded another goal before a last second shot by O’Connor put Springfield on top, 3-2, by quarters end.
In the second quarter, a trio of Trinity players hit their stride － tormenting the Pride’s defense. Senior attack Christine Taylor had a pair of goals, Kirkpatrick chipped in a goal herself while also setting up another two, and junior Lily Ives added a goal and assist herself. By quarters end, Trinity took a 7-4 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was a back and forth affair, with each team going back and forth. Taylor punched in another goal, while O’Connor added two more of her own. A last second goal by Kirkpatrick extended Trinity’s lead to 10-6 going into the final quarter.
O’Connor was clearly the focal point of Springfield’s offense, scoring a season-high five goals in the contest. But she humbly accredits her outburst in scoring thanks to a strong Pride defense.
“The defense wasn’t letting them take any drives and they were working together so well that it was like one unit. They made so many stops that gave us opportunities to score,” O’Connor said.
Another factor that could have led to O’Connor’s success comes at the expense of Springfield’s leading scorer, Taylor Pichel. Her one and only goal game with 0:47 left the play, when the game was well out of reach. Mullady credited Trinity’s defensive strategy and encouraged surrounding players to step up along with the team’s leading scorers.
“They played a couple different defenses on us. Taylor [Pichel] had a great game last game, and some people just don’t have great games every game. But we had Jade [O’Connor] step up and some others that you probably didn’t even realize because they didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. That being said, we all need to step up; we can’t be relying on one or two players to keep our success,” Mullady said.
Despite the game being out of reach toward the game’s end, Springfield’s bench did not lower their energy for the game’s entirety. Mullady credits it to the culture the team has.
“We talk about how we need everybody to buy in to have success; and everybody is buying in right now. We have to have all － 110% people － bought in, and right now we are doing that. In games like this, you don’t want to lose, but it helps us when everyone is bought in,” said Mullady.
Springfield looks to get back on track this weekend at home against Smith College on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics