Springfield, Mass. - September 22, 2016 - Three goals with under 7:18 to play in the contest led the Springfield College field hockey team to a come-from-behind 5-3 win over cross-town rival Western New England University on Thursday afternoon at Stagg Field.
With the win, Springfield College improves to 4-3 on the year, while Western New England is now 3-4 overall.
For the Pride, freshmen forwards Belle Copponi (Dover, Mass.) and Taylor Conley (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) registered two goals apiece, while junior forward Maggie Kennedy (Clay, N.Y.) tacked on her sixth goal of the season. Additionally, sophomore Amanda Nusbaum (Conway, N.H.) handed out a career-best three assists in the win.
In net, sophomore goalkeeper Emmalie Drake (Pittsford, N.Y.) registered a career-high nine saves, while her counterpart, Grace Trupe (Cardiff, Calif.) made 13 stops and took the loss. The Pride held a 24-18 shot advantage over 70 minutes of play, while also being rewarded 11 penalty corners to the Golden Bears' six.
Springfield College scored just 2:27 into the contest when Copponi registered her first-career goal to give the Pride an early 1-0 cushion. Nusbaum played a ball in from the outside of the arch that was blocked by a Western New England defender, but the rebound found the stick of Conley, who slid a pass to Copponi for the easy finish.
Western New England would even the score at one apiece when junior forward Brittany DeLima (Branchville, N.J.) corralled a loose ball inside Springfield College's defensive territory, before turning and firing a shot on cage that found its way to the back of the net to make it 1-1 with 15:22 to play in the opening half.
The Pride regained its one-goal lead when Conley picked up a loose ball at midfield, beat her defender, and sent a long pass into the middle of the field that was caught up to Copponi, who was able to convert the point-blank chance to make it 2-1, Springfield College, with 3:40 left in the first.
Western New England evened the score once again with 25:43 remaining in the contest when freshman Jessica Clifford (Auburn, Mass.) tucked home a loose ball in front, before the Golden Bears took a one-goal lead off of a strike from Michelle Carlson (Hackettstown, N.J.) with 18:56 to play. Freshman forward Jacqueline Clark (Auburn, Mass.) had the initial shot on cage, which was saved by Drake, but Carlson collected the rebound and lifted her chance over the sophomore to give the visitors the lead.
Down one with under 10 minutes to go, the Pride pulled even when Nusbaum drove a shot at the cage from the top of the arch, that deflected off the stick of first-year forward Gabby Guerard (Derry, N.H.), redirecting to the stick of Conley, who buried her chance to even the score at three apiece with 7:18 to go.
Just 2:02 later, Conley found the back of the net again for her 10th of the season when junior Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) put a chance on cage that was stopped by Trube, but Kennedy got to the rebound first and found Conley all alone for her second of the contest to make it 4-3, Springfield College.
Kennedy would give the Pride insurance with seven seconds left when Copponi sent a ball to the Nusbaum on the top of the arch, who fired another shot on net, but the ball was tipped in by Kennedy to seal the 5-3 win for the maroon and white.
Up next, Springfield College will return to Stagg Field on Saturday, September 24 when it will host Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play at 5 p.m.