By Hayden Choate
With 2:07 left in the second overtime Springfield College women’s soccer sophomore Karly Suppicich found herself one on one with the Coast Guard goalkeeper Sarah Schollenberger.
Getting the pass from fellow sophomore Madison Daly, Suppicich knew this could be her last chance to end the game as she took a step and fired a strike to the left side of the net beating Schollenberger to get the golden goal victory and her second goal in as many games.
“It feels unreal,” Suppicich said. “I can’t believe that just happened.”
The Pride came away with the 2-1 win Saturday afternoon in their first home conference game. Springfield had numerous chances prior to the goal including four shots in the second overtime.
The sophomore midfielder knew she wasn’t going to get a more perfect opportunity.
“We worked our (tails) off all through that game. There’s like two minutes left, this is probably our last chance we’re going to get and if not, it’s gonna be like just to work through all that to end in a tie would be crazy,” Suppicich said.
Springfield got on the board early when Kellie Smith’s shot went off the left post and into the net. Coast Guard tied the game with just over 15 minutes left in the first half.
“I thought we played well in the first half. First 25-30 minutes I thought we did enough to really have ended it. We scored a great goal, Kaleigh hit the crossbar, twice then credit them; they came back into it, scored on their first real opportunity,” Springfield college women’s soccer head coach John Gibson said.
The two teams played almost 78 minutes without a goal, both trading chances at the two ends of the field.
“I was pleased we stuck to it,” Gibson said. “Those were some tired legs out there.”
Suppicich knew the team would prevail by playing for each other, something that went through her head right before her goal.
“You have to finish this for the team,” Suppicich thought to herself. “Maddy (Bonavita) and Kaleigh (Dale) both worked their (tails) off the whole game to the point where Maddy was getting asked, ‘can you be 100 percent?’ and she was like ‘maybe for ten minutes’ and she stayed 100 percent.”
Springfield improved to 5-3 on the season and remains undefeated in the NEWMAC conference at 3-0. The Pride are also 4-1 in their last five games, Gibson believes the improvement of his team’s mental toughness has helped them in the stretch.
“We’ve talked about this, we weren’t mentally tough early in the season, I think we’ve shown a little more mental toughness here,” Gibson said.
Suppicich believes the team not getting frustrated and being mental tough is what helped them come away with the win.
“We all just needed to take a second and breathe,” Suppicich said. “We have to do this, we’re the better team, let’s be patient.”
Coast Guard is now 2-7 coming into the game off a 2-1 loss to Babson last Saturday. What made the Bears unique to Springfield was their physicality.
“It’s very different from Wednesday’s game, a team that wasn’t really physical,” Gibson said. “That’s what you expect these days, opponents don’t stay off you, Wednesday was an unusual game they allowed us to play, Coast Guard is not going to let you play so you just have to move the ball quicker.”
The Pride have a big week ahead of them, where they take on two NEWMAC opponents, facing Smith on Wednesday and the reigning conference champion MIT on Saturday.
“It feels like we’re going to have a really good season from here on out,” Suppicich said.
“It feels good. We’re moving in the right direction,” Gibson said. “We’re not a finished product by any means. I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Photo: Joe Arruda/The Student