By Hayden Choate
The Springfield College women’s soccer team came into Wednesday night’s game looking to bounce back after losing to No. 5 MIT on Saturday, 3-0. Back on their home field, the Pride played host to Babson, another tough NEWMAC opponent.
There was 110 minutes of soccer played on Brock-Affleck field in front of an enthusiastic crowd, but after 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, no goals were scored resulting in a 0-0 tie.
“It was tight, it was a thriller,” Springfield College women’s soccer head coach John Gibson said. “I’m sorry that we didn’t get to hear the crowd roar. If we scored that would have been great, the support was amazing.”
The two teams came into the game with almost identical records, Springfield being 6-4 and Babson being 6-5-1. This was also Springfield’s second game of the season that went into double-overtime.
“I thought we worked hard,” Gibson said. “We made enough chances and in this game, if you don’t put chances away you don’t win.”
Although neither team could get the game-winning goal both sides played a very strong defensive game, particularly Springfield.
“They were great,” Gibson said of his defenders. “There were a couple of breakdowns but that’s bound to happen with players under pressure. I thought we defended really well, some of the defenders were on the ball, Maddy (Daily) played out of her mind so there’s a lot of good things but ultimately you’re frustrated you didn’t win.”
Junior Amelia Harper had seven saves for the Pride in the shutout tie. Three of them coming on balls that were tipped by Harper over the net.
“Most of them are just kind of instinct,” Harper said. “High-balls are always difficult to kind of judge, especially when they’re coming in, so it always feels pretty good to get a palm on it.”
With both teams feeling the fatigue of playing over a hundred minutes of scoreless play, Babson found themselves with a chance to win the game as the clock dwindled down. Babson senior Kate Ryan’s shot from the left side of the field was turned away by Harper’s last-second effort to keep the score at zero.
“Last second of the game, I would have been upset if I didn’t make that one,” Harper said. The only thing going through my mind was don’t let it in so just kind of my body takes over for a minute.”
Though a win would have helped, the Pride are still 4-1-1 in conference play this season with four more NEWMAC opponents on the schedule. Harper was proud of their team for shutting down a tough Babson team.
“I feel most proud of my defense being able to keep that shutout,” Harper said. “That’s something that we’re always working on. Pretty good game, I’m pretty happy with our performance today.”
Harper knows their team will take this game into the final stretch of their schedule which has four out of five of the games remaining being at home.
“Babson is always a really hard opponent,” Harper said. “I think we saw a lot of really good things today, especially from the backline, good covers, we had a lot of communication, we always had each other’s back which is always really important.”
Despite the impressive defensive play, the Pride have now gone two straight games without scoring a goal.
“There’s a lot of effort, a lot of hard work, a lot of quality stuff but in the end, we didn’t put the chances away,” Gibson said.
Gibson is hopeful his team will be able to build on the close game Wednesday moving forward to their next NEWMAC opponent, WPI on Saturday.
“Credit to (Babson) they played well, they had their chances,” Gibson said. “It was a good game, it was a good battle, it was very well-officiated but the bottom line is we made enough chances to win it and we didn’t.”
Photo: Gillian Dube/The Student