By Sean Savage
Although the scoreline was only 1-0 in favor of the Springfield College women’s soccer team, an electric high-octane offense was on full display for the Pride on Saturday against the visiting Wellesley Blue.
“We have a great roster with a lot of depth. As a coaching staff, we utilize that to our advantage in playing with extra press and energy,” said Springfield head coach Kristin Cannon.
The Pride applied a team press from the gate that led to an early goal. First-year Kristina Kyle found herself down the sideline with a golden opportunity. She kept her composure and slotted a perfect ball near the penalty mark, where first-year Kaitlyn Suller tucked it into the right-side netting.
“Our first-year students come ready to play,” Cannon added. “They acclimated to the college level quickly and had other teammates bring them along to help the chemistry.”
Their energy had a ripple effect as the Pride dominated the first half. Springfield had 13 shots, while Wellesley only had one shot. The ball stayed in the Blue’s defensive half for most of the first. “Our team is really self-aware of what works well,” Cannon said. The self-awareness caused the Pride to limit any opportunities for Wellesley in the first.
At the half, the message for the Pride was clear.
“Continue to find players out wide and get forward,” Cannon said.
Springfield did a great job of getting off the ball quickly with beautiful pieces of interplay, and looked to do the same in the second.
To open the second half, the Pride continued to win the ball high up the pitch, leading to more opportunities that were not capitalized. However, Wellesley also had the half to talk things over. They saw the light of chance early in the second. But, Maddie Daigneault was determined to keep it a shutout.
A ball was played in overhead, and Thea Feldgoise was in on goal. This was until Daigneault turned on the jets, chasing her down and clearing the ball and goal-scoring opportunity.
“Daigneault had another solid performance. She is an outstanding player for us,” Cannon said. “She is very versatile and will do anything asked of her to help out the team.”
With 13 minutes to go, the Blue found themselves with what would be their last clear chance of the game. Ella Hong found herself an opening inside the Pride’s box. However, once again, Daigneault dove in with a tackle, knocking over Hong and making for an easy save.
Springfield’s energy levels remained constant; their tone throughout the game was ubiquitous.
“They can not handle the pressure,” the crowd cheered.
“We set a standard to bring high energy to each game no matter what is going on outside of soccer. You can not ask for anything more as a coach,” Cannon said.
The Pride improved their record to 4-2 while earning their second consecutive win in conference play (2-0).
“There is a lesson to be learned from each game,” Cannon added. “We are going to take it one step at a time. We will review the film and take notes from this to get better headed into our next.”
Looking ahead, the Pride will host Williams on Wednesday, where they will look to push their win streak to a third game.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics