By Luke Whitehouse
The Springfield College women’s soccer team was put to the test as they hosted non-conference opponent Williams College on Wednesday night at Brock-Affleck field.
Both teams struggled throughout the game to gain offensive possession as both defenses were dominant for the majority of the game. Springfield and Williams only allowed one goal apiece.
Pride Goalkeeper Harper and the defense were under intense pressure the whole game from the Williams offense. The Ephs collected 10 shots on goal compared to only three for the Pride.
Despite that, Springfield’s defense never wavered.
“The communication between all of us [was huge],” said Pride goaltender Harper. “The trust between all of us when shifting and making sure we’re stepping in and recovering.”
Facing a 5-2 Williams College team, the Pride knew they had to come prepared and focused – even before kickoff.
“We’re pushing each other hard, even in warmups,” said Harper.
Springfield College Head coach Kristin Cannon was really impressed with how her team stayed consistent on defense throughout the game, even with the heavy rotation of players.
“We’ve been really working defensively as a collective unit,” Cannon said. “Everyone stepped in and did a great job.”
Although defense headlined Wednesday’s contest, the first half painted a different picture with each team trading goals.
Just under six minutes into the contest, graduate student Vissi Rizzos received a pass from senior Kaleigh Dale and shot it towards the net. The ball flew past the Williams goaltender to give the Pride a 1-0 lead – one that was held for most of the opening half.
With 10 minutes remaining, Williams senior Tess Belnap found the ball in the open field and scored on an unassisted goal to tie the game at one.
That was all the scoring that would occur the entire game, as neither team netted a goal in the second half.
The Pride received valiant efforts from the entire team, including Sonia Duggar. The junior didn’t come off the field in the second half despite not playing at all in the first.
“[I saw] what was happening during the game from the outside perspective and applied [that] out on the field,” Duggar said.
Although the game ended in a draw, Cannon was really proud of how her team played.
“[We] talk about showing up a lot for each other,” she said. “And I think we did that tonight.”
Cannon and the Pride will only continue to get better moving forward.
“We’ll just keep progressing and getting better and keep trending in the right direction,” Cannon said.
The Pride now stand at 4-2-1 and will travel to New London, Conn. on Saturday to take on Coast Guard in a conference tilt with the Bears.
Photo Courtesy of Gillian Dube