Springfield College women’s lacrosse goalkeeper Gabby Anderson surveyed Stagg Field, while the clock ticked through the 27 minute mark of the first half. She waited for the Amherst defense to crack, for one of her teammates to be freed. She waited. And waited. And waited.
Amherst was not loosening its grip on the Pride’s offense, and such a defensive display would not let up in an 8-3 loss for Springfield. Amherst limited the Pride to ten shots while winning the groundball game 17-13. The Pride turned the ball over 19 times, with 12 turnovers coming in the first half. Amherst was also the first team this season to beat Springfield at the draw control, winning the draw contest 8-5.
Amherst started the game on a 4-0 run, as its attackers Kate Wyeth and Rachel Passarelli netted two goals each to put them ahead. Coming out of halftime, Springfield controlled a 3-2 run as it traded blows with a fundamentally sound Amherst. Sophomore Kristen Steidler began the scoring attack for the Pride after rebounding her own shot for a goal. Shelby Corsano and Heather Raniolo followed up the scoring effort by netting one goal each. Amherst would go on to smother its opponent’s comeback attempt, as it ended the game scoring two unanswered goals.
As Amherst’s defense frustrated Springfield’s offense throughout the contest, their offensive effort, which finished with a 92 percent clear percentage (13 for 14), constantly pressured the Pride’s defense. It was a patient attack that featured a healthy amount of bounce shots. Anderson picked up seven saves against an offense that shot 40 percent on the day.
“Sometimes it’s hard for us to adjust to a team that comes in full force,” said senior Bianca Raniolo. “I think our defense was very solid today. [Amherst is] a great team [with] great ball movement. They made us turn our heads constantly.”
Springfield will look to end a two-game losing streak as it begins conference play next week against Wellesley at home on March 30.
“We need to continue to play our game and challenge each other and see where we can hone in [on opponents], find their weaknesses and use our strengths,” said Raniolo. “We’ll need to come out strong at the beginning of games, sometimes we struggle with that. We need to come out full force and work towards our potential.”