By Hayden Choate
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College women’s soccer team will host Emerson in the first round of the NEWMAC tournament Tuesday at Brock-Affleck Field.
The Pride finished the regular season as the No. 4 seed as the Lions finished with the No. 5 seed. Springfield went 0-2-1 in its last three games of the season and had the opportunity to finish as high as the No. 2 seed but fell to Wheaton on Oct. 29.
Despite the end of season struggles the Pride had, head coach John Gibson is confident in his team going into the start of the tournament.
“We have played hard but not gotten the results we needed,” Gibson said. “I hope the whole group will be stronger after coming through
the last couple of games and that we play to our potential.”
Any team has to deal with injuries throughout the length of a season and Springfield had their fair share. The injury bug hit hard at the end of the season but Gibson expects some players to be back for Tuesday’s matchup.
“We will be stronger as we should get a couple of important players back for Tuesday,” Gibson said.
The Lions, who finished the season 10-6-2, also went 0-2-1 in their last three games of the season including a 1-0 loss to No. 1 seed MIT.
Emerson’s defense did end the regular season with a goals against average of 0.91 and its average goals scored per game was 1.67. The team also went 7-2 at home while going 3-4-2 on the road.
Springfield, whose offense did struggle at times, scored 45 goals during the season giving them an average 2.5 goals per game. The offense is led by Kaleigh Dale and Sara Swetland, who will look to capitalize on every chance they get. Springfield’s defense, which has shutdown their opponents at times looks to get back to protecting their side of the field after they combined for a goals against average of 1.23.
These two teams met at Springfield back on Sept. 28, and Springfield won, 2-1. Springfield scored two unanswered goals in the second half by Kinsey Colby and Adalia Malick. Emerson did record a shot on goal in the entire second half.
The winner of Tuesday’s NEWMAC quarterfinal game will go on to face MIT in the NEWMAC semifinal at MIT on Thursday. As Springfield gets back to full strength, so should its offensive attack.
Featured photo courtesy of Jack Margaros