On a rather warm October Tuesday afternoon, 22 players took Brock-Affleck Field to play the game of soccer. It is usual to see a few substitutions being made from time to time, but the Springfield College men’s soccer team did the unusual.
Taking care of Framingham State 3-0, the Pride used an unlikely tool for success. Everyone played, and that means all 30 players on the roster.
It was a constant movement by Coach Steffen Seibert and his coaching staff that led to yet another dominant win. “It was a complete team effort and we just outworked the other team,” Siebert said.
It didn’t appear hard for the Pride to outwork the Rams as their use of all 30 players highly exceeded their opponents. “If you play 30 players and the other team plays 15, it’s hard to keep up with that,” Siebert said.
The Pride created early opportunities offensively by being aggressive on every play. It didn’t take them long to put a scare on Rams goalie Jacob Nichols (five saves) as Luke Alvaro and Joe Labella a pair of give-and-go’s to set up Tyler Allen for a hard shot in the box that deflected off a Rams defender.
Labella’s efforts proved to pay off minutes later as he controlled the ball from Ryan Malone’s throw in and rifled a shot at Nichols. Labella’s shot bounced off of Nichols only to have freshmen Harrison Davis there to put it in net for the first goal of the contest. Labella recorded his first assist of the night off Davis’s goal and went on to earn one more.
Having a hardworking leader in Labella has only brought success to the Pride and it was on display tonight. “He performs every single time for us and he’s the one guy who keeps on playing every minute of the game,” Siebert said.
Springfield kept to their strategy in the second half of being aggressive and having fresh bodies on the field. Sophomore Taylor Gilfoy found wide open space in Ram territory and rocketed a shot that hit the middle top of the cross bar.
The pressure on the Ram defense would eventually show why the Pride outscored their opponents 19-8 in shots.
Curtis Bolduc crossed a great ball to teammate Nick Kobel who headed it in to extend the Pride lead to 2-0.
One of Springfield’s 19 players that came off the bench showed why the strategy is so effective. After receiving a pass from Labella, Matt Dickmann controlled the ball and bent a beautiful shot just to the right of Nichols in order to give the Pride the 3-0 lead.
Dickmann’s goal was a sure highlight of the game and something that he has been working on. “He does that on a daily basis in practice and I’m happy that it finally happened in a game. I think there’s more to come,” Siebert said.
The majority of the game was centered around Springfield’s dominance and ability to play their whole team.
Lacking the ability to make scoring chances, the Rams best option for a goal came in the first half when Maycon Malta took a shot that sent Pride goalkeeper Billy Schmid (five saves) to a fierce dive.
The Pride will look to continue their successful strategies and apply them to a NEWMAC road game against WPI. “It’s going to give us confidence. It’s number 7 in the region (WPI). It’s going to be a great match,” Siebert said.