By Hayden Choate
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College women’s soccer head coach John Gibson made it clear to his team before the game started, he wanted them to do everything at a higher level than they have so far this season.
The Pride did just that and more, scoring six times before the half including three times in the first 15 minutes of play and three times in the second half to give them a 9-0 victory over Umass-Dartmouth (1-1).
The win ties a program record for most goals scored in one-game, the last time being in 2007 against Elms. Senior forward Mackenzie Luiz and junior forward Sara Swetland netted two goals while Graduate student Kellie Gambell scored a hat-trick for the pride.
“Play faster, apply more pressure, move the ball quicker.” said Gibson to his team before the game. Last year’s matchup between these two teams ended in a 3-0 Springfield victory but at halftime the game was scoreless.
The Pride improved to 4-0 on the season and in all four games thus far they have scored the first goal. Said Gibson, “In soccer it’s crucial, one goal is sometimes the margin and in the games up until now, one goal was the margin.”
Springfield extended their shutout streak to 341 minutes of play and had 11 different players have at least one point in the blowout win.
“We were just focused on passing the ball and keeping it quick and crisp the whole time.” said Gimbell.
Gibson said “it was very important” being able to see his what his depth from the bench is capable of. In fact, every player except the other two goalies on the team saw game action including senior captain Nikki Kerr who returned from injury.
The scoring began when Sara Swetland sent Mackenzie Luiz on a break just 1:51 into the game. Less than five minutes later sophomore midfielder Kaleigh Dale went on a run through the middle of the field before threading the needle through traffic to open space for Luiz to grab the ball and go on another break, scoring to make it 2-0. Less than a minute later, Sara Swetland launched a shot from outside the box to the corner of the goal, extending the lead to 3-0.
Umass-Dartmouth who registered just one shot on goal, came into the game 1-0 after beating Salem State 2-1 on Sept. 7th. The Corsairs who were outmatched by Springfield’s speed and quick passes only had 3 shots on goal the entire game giving Springfield sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Normoyle her first career shutout and win.
The Pride now have to turn the page to No. 1 in the nation and defending national champion Williams who they face Sunday afternoon.
Said Gimbell, “We have to go into the game and be as prepared as we were today, we have to go in mentally and physically tough, and we have to be ready to take them down.”
Featured photo courtesy Jack Margaros