By Hayden Choate
Just over eight minutes into the first half of Saturday’s NEWMAC women’s soccer game, WPI found themselves up 2-0 against Springfield after Grace Casey’s corner kick was caught and bobbled by Springfield goalie Amelia Harper in the net.
The Engineers would score four more times to take a 6-0 road victory over the Pride and improve their record to 8-5-1 while Springfield is now 6-5-1.
“I don’t think we saw that coming,” Springfield College women’s soccer coach John Gibson said. “We watched film and we watched their performances and they’ve lost games they were very unlucky to lose, they’ve outshot opponents so they’ve always had the potential.”
Springfield came into the game after battling a tough Babson team to a 0-0 tie Wednesday night, having a record of 4-1-1 in conference games. WPI on the other hand came into the game with a 1-3-1 record in conference games.
Looking to stay in the race for the NEWMAC playoffs, the Engineers marched into Brock-Affleck Field Saturday afternoon with a strong offensive explosion.
Madisyn Bagby and Sofia Orrico scored just under two minutes apart with 12 minutes left in the first half, giving WPI a commanding 4-0 lead heading into the half.
“Unfortunately we underperformed and they did everything that was wrong with their game right,” Gibson said.
The Pride have now played 244 minutes straight without scoring a goal. They’ve allowed 10 goals since their last one in a four game span.
Springfield now has four games left in the season including three NEWMAC games that are theoretically must-wins against Wheaton, Clark and Emerson.
“Yeah we needed three points today,” Gibson said. “We’re back in a dogfight in the conference now so I guess we’ll see.”
WPI had 17 shots in the game, ten of which came in the first half. Ranya Basma got the scoring started just 1:36 into the game off a nice pass from Sofia Orrico to put the Engineers ahead.
The first attack they had was their first goal which was not helpful,” Gibson said.
Springfield had their opportunities to cut the lead in half when it was 2-0 but WPI’s defense and goalie Lauren Paul shut the door, giving them very limited chances to end their scoring drought.
“I’ve never had quite this experience before but I don’t know what to identify it other than we didn’t perform and they did,” Gibson said.
WPI came into the game knowing not only how big of a win it would be for them, but also the importance of getting on the scoreboard early, which put the Pride in a 2-0 hole before ten minutes had even gone by in the first half.
“For a team that’s in the situation they were in, gives a lot of belief to them,” Gibson said on the two early goals to begin the game.
With less than a handful of games left in the season, Gibson told his team to take a look at themselves, get ready for practice and move on to the next game. The Pride head on the road to Wheaton, another tough NEWMAC opponent, before hosting a non-conference game with Brandeis next Saturday.