Springfield, Mass. - September 2, 2017 - The Springfield College field hockey team opened its 2017 season in impressive fashion, as the Pride scored five first-half goals en route to a 6-1 victory over Eastern Connecticut on Stagg Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Pride has now won its last four season-opening contests, and is 1-0 on the year, while Eastern Connecticut falls to 0-1 overall. Springfield College held a 28-13 shot advantage over 70 minutes of play, while the Pride also had 10 penalty corners to the Warriors' five.
In net, junior goalkeeper Emmalie Drake (Pittsford, N.Y.) recorded six saves and picked up her first win of the year, while her counterpart, Maddie LaRusso (Enfield, Conn.) made 10 stops in the loss. For the Pride, seniors Dani Sweet (Charlton, Mass.), Maggie Kennedy (Clay, N.Y.), and sophomore Belle Copponi (Dover, Mass.) registered two goals apiece.
The Pride opened the day's scoring when Sweet took a pass from Copponi and found the back of the net to make it 1-0, before the Warriors pulled even when Alex Kallgren (Dudley, Mass.) gained control of a loose ball in front of Springfield's net, before turning and drilling a shot into the right side to make it 1-1.
From there, Springfield College would end the half on a 4-0 run, consisting of a pair of goals from Copponi, one more from Sweet and one from Kennedy to take a 5-1 lead into halftime. With 15:46 on the clock, Copponi took a shot from outside the arch that found its way into the back of the net to make it 2-1, before the Pride pushed its lead to a pair when Kennedy scored unassisted with 13:15 to play in the stanza.
Just 1:56 later, Taylor Low (Longmeadow, Mass.) sent a ball into the crease area, which was redirected by Paige Laperle (Auburn, Mass.) to a wide open Sweet, who corralled the ball and found the back of the net for her second of the game to make it 4-1. The Pride finished its first-half scoring when Laperle sent one into the crease area to Kennedy, who touched a pass to Copponi for an easy finish, making it 5-1 with 1:48 left in the period.
Kennedy scored the Pride's lone goal of the second half with 11:51 to play as she picked up a loose ball in front of the Eastern Connecticut net and hammered home a shot to make it 6-1, Springfield College.
Up next, the Pride will return to Stagg Field on Sunday, September 3 when it hosts Westfield State at 12 p.m.