By Hayden Choate
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College women’s soccer team came into Sunday’s non-conference matchup with No. 1 Williams ready for a battle against the defending national champions.
The game was certainly a battle and even took an extra 20 minutes to settle but in the end the two teams tied 1-1. “We probably showed our best performance ever against them, in my reign” said Springfield head coach John Gibson.
The Ephs got on the board early by displaying their ridiculous speed when senior forward Sara Scire flew by two Springfield defenders and beat goalkeeper Emma O’Sullivan (four saves) 6:02 into the game to make it 1-0.
Williams kept the pressure on Springfield after the goal spending the majority of the first half in Springfield defensive zone but the Pride shut down every bid the Ephs had, including a great save by O’Sullivan forcing her to jump and save the ball one-handed.
With a little under 14 minutes left in the first half, freshman forward Adalia Malick raced down the left side of the field taking Springfield’s first shot on goal of the game with her left foot that Williams goalkeeper Whitney Lincoln (nine saves) saved by directing the rebound out of bounds forcing a corner kick.
Sophomore midfielder Kaleigh Dale took the corner but instead of sending the ball to the traffic in front of the goal, Dale sent a crisp pass to senior midfielder Sydney Wine who took a powerful shot that went over Lincoln’s head into the back right of the net tying the game. “Kaleigh kind of just let me know to shoot it, and then I got the ball took a touch, hit it and hoped for the best.” Wine said on scoring what would be the game’s final goal with 13:27 left in the first half.
After Wine’s goal the Pride gained a lot more momentum, the goal being the first time Springfield has scored against Williams since 2010, having plenty of chances to grab the lead including the best one at the end of the half when Wine took a similar shot that Lincoln made an absurd diving save that created a rebound which found Dale’s foot but her shot soared over the net.
Both teams shared great opportunities to score in the second half and overtime but Williams did find the back of the net off a cross that was deflected twice before crossing the goal line in the left side of the net with 10:48 to go in regulation. However, the goal was called off due to Williams being offside keeping the game tied at one.
It may not have been the start they wanted but Springfield responded, tied the game and even had a handful of chances to win. “Its very satisfying that we’ve come out of this game and instead of thinking ‘oh we tied,’ we’re thinking ‘we should have won that.’ Said Gibson.
Williams outshot Springfield 21-14 but the Pride edged the Ephs in shots on goal 10-5. This is the first time since 2004 Springfield has tied Williams. “They’re an excellent team, they’re really the team that we’ve looked to for inspiration over the years.” Gibson said, speaking highly about his team’s opponent.
Williams came into the game having to quickly regroup after losing Saturday 2-1 to Wesleyan. Wesleyan, who is Springfield’s next opponent will host the Pride on Tuesday. Said Gibson,“it’ll be tough, it will be a different challenge.”
Following Tuesday’s matchup at Wesleyan, the Pride will then begin NEWMAC conference play against Coast Guard on Sept. 21st
Featured photo courtesy Jack Margaros