The Springfield College women’s soccer team (5-1-1, 9-4-1) welcomed newcomer Emerson College (6-8-1, 1-4-1) to the New England Women’s and Men’s Conference by beating them 2-0 this past Saturday on Brock-Affleck Field.
Sophomores ruled the day for the Lady Pride, as members from the class of 2016 scored both goals. Midfielder Jessica Miller and forward Nicole Fowler put the ball past Emerson’s goalkeeper Melanie Escobar. They were able to score in the 6th and 39th minute, respectively.
Miller, a Southbury, Conn. native, helped propel the Pride to a promising start by scoring in the 6th minute off a shot that came from the left side, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
“It was really important. It kind of just settled everything down a little bit,” Miller said. “It helped us get in the right mindset.”
Miller’s second goal of the season would be all that the Pride would need during the contest, but a goal from the Maynard, Mass. native Fowler provided insurance in the 39th minute, as she also struck her second goal of the season over the outstretched hands of Escobar. The Pride had a total of 10 shots on goal during the game while possessing the ball for the majority of the game.
“[It’s important to] finish the chances that we’re creating,” Springfield College head coach John Gibson said. “We had a lot of chances today, and I thought we should have finished more of them.”
Emerson didn’t have many encouraging moments throughout the game, but Escobar was able to keep the game close with her eight saves. The Lions’ offense, however, was nearly nonexistent.
Emerson had zero shots opposed to 19 from Springfield. It seemed like there was an invisible barrier preventing Emerson players from venturing onto the other side of the field. A big reason for this was Springfield College senior defender Vicky DiNatale. DiNatale also contributed five shots herself, two of which were on goal.
The Pride will carry their two-game winning streak into next week, when they play two NEWMAC games. The first is a home match on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Mount Holyoke (0-6-0, 5-9-0). After that they will travel to WPI (8-4-1, 2-3-0) on Saturday for a morning match at 11 a.m.
“[We’re] aiming on winning all of the conference games that we have left,” said Gibson. “They are winnable for us, so those are very reasonable expectations moving forward.”