By Braedan Shea
In the first Springfield College women’s lacrosse game since last year’s crushing loss in the NEWMAC championship, the Pride wasted no time bringing the energy back to Stagg Field, with a 10-9 victory Wednesday over Roger Williams.
In what Springfield hopes is its first full season in almost three years, starting off with a victory is key.
“I mean, this is like our first real season in a while,” said Springfield head coach Kristen Mullady. “Any win that we can get to start us off is great. Roger Williams, regionally, was ranked high last year, so we knew it was going to be a battle because clearly, they are a really good team. Just getting our first win of the season helps us move on to the next one.”
Roger Williams started off the game hot, striking first at 9:56 in the opening quarter. In the final five minutes of play, they rattled off three more goals, giving the Hawks a 4-1 lead by the end of the quarter.
After yet another Roger Williams goal at 8:01 in the second quarter, pushing its lead to 5-1, Springfield flipped the switch. The Pride scored three unanswered goals, the final being an unassisted score by graduate student midfielder Jade O’Connor at 2:49, following a Roger Williams turnover. Although being down by one, Springfield had all the momentum going into the half.
The second half was a back-and-forth battle, each team having an answer for the other, and neither team being able to grab a lead of more than one. The third quarter ended in a stalemate at 6-6, with terrific goalie performances by both teams, including a huge last-second save by Springfield’s sophomore goalie, Haley Moody.
The scoring picked back up In the fourth quarter, as Springfield and Roger Williams traded goals an absurd six straight times until O’Connor had a heroic last-second goal to put The Pride ahead.
Following a foul by Roger Williams’ attack Devon Sarazin with just under a minute left in regulation, Springfield took advantage of the opportunity, coming down the field in a hurry. After some quick passes, the ball ended up in O’Connor’s possession. She took a few steps forward before unleashing a missile at the goal that sailed right past Roger Williams senior goalie Hannah Goodwin.
“I wasn’t thinking anything at all, I was just like I gotta go,” said O’Connor, referencing that final shot. “I knew I had [Arielle Johnson] if I needed her.”
A draw control from Springfield’s sophomore midfielder Maddy Roy would seal the deal for the Pride, giving them a 10-9 opening night victory.
Although getting off to a slow start, Mullady was proud of how her team bounced back.
“I think we were pretty consistent, but there were some lapses that we had,” said Mullady. “It took us a while, like a half, to become consistent, that was a little frustrating, but they responded well to some adjustments. Obviously, we were able to do the job in the second half.”
Getting this win was extremely important for the team, and they believe that this is just the start of something much bigger. “It’s so important. Starting off, we are going to be on a roll, and just get everything going,” said O’Connor.
There is a lot of optimism for the rest of the season, as coming off of a season in which they lost in the championship game, they believe they can get the job done this year.
“We know that this is going to start it, and we know it is going to end with NEWMACs,” said O’Connor.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics