The Pride are on a roll heading into the NEWMAC tournament this year.
The team has won six-straight games coming into its final game of the season against Emerson this Saturday.
However, the road before that six-game winning streak was tough. The women struggled early-on, starting the season with a 5-5 record. While the Pride played a tough schedule, facing four nationally ranked opponents during that span; most of their losses came from being outplayed in the second half.
“I think just throughout the whole season we get fitter and stronger and make better decisions,” said head coach Mullady. “That all accounts to the teams that we played all of these games have just made us better at this point of the season.”
The team’s last loss against the reigning NEWMAC champion, Babson, the Pride went into halftime leading 5-2. Then scored first in the second half jumping out to a four-goal lead. Springfield held a 10-7 lead with 7:54 to go in the game.
Babson’s Juliana Mcguire scored at the 7:54 mark sparking a four goal run from the beavers allowing Babson to win 11-10.
This game not only showed how the team struggles to close out opponents, but it was a rematch of last year’s NEWMAC title game and possibly a preview of this year’s game. So, this loss was a tough pill for the women to swallow.
Along with this, the women dropped games to nationally ranked Middlebury, and Claremont, while having leads going into halftime or during the second of the game.
If the women don’t find a way to figuratively keep their foot on the gas throughout the game, they may be watching from the sidelines as a another team celebrates winning the NEWMAC title.
One player that could keep that from happening is midfielder Ann Mahoney
Mahoney is the player to watch this postseason. While she is very good she tends to be overlooked because of how good some of her teammates are.
Without Mahoney in the middle pushing the transition, securing ground balls and forcing turnovers, this would be a completely different team.
Her work goes unnoticed by some, but not by her head coach.
“She’s running the full game for us right now,” said Mullady. “She’s gotten a lot fitter and stronger. We rely on her a lot. She comes up with ground balls, she causes turnovers, and she’s really strong on the draws. Overall her leadership and consistency makes her the player that she is.”
Mahoney can score as well. She has 22 goals so far on the season. If teams don’t pay attention to her in the middle she’ll make them pay for it in more ways than one.
Moving into the postseason, the team the Pride have to look out for in the tournament is Babson.
The Beavers have been a thorn in the team’s side for a while. Since 2015, the Pride have only lost four NEWMAC games, three of them came at the hands of Babson. Last season, the women snuck by the Beavers in the regular season thanks to a game-winning overtime goal from attacker Shelby Corsano.
Later on that season, the Pride took on Babson in the NEWMAC title game, but were defeated handily, 12-5.
Springfield will have to take each game one at a time of course, but if they hope to get past Babson, they will have to stay focused the full 60 minutes.