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Field Hockey Lets First-Half Lead Slip Away; No. 13 Williams Prevails, 5-1

Field Hockey Lets First-Half Lead Slip Away; No. 13 Williams Prevails, 5-1

Springfield, Mass. - September 27, 2017 - Despite holding a 1-0 lead after 35 minutes of play, the Springfield College field hockey team fell to nationally-ranked Williams College, 5-1, in non-conference play on Wednesday night at Stagg Field. 

With the loss, Springfield College falls to 5-3 on the year, while Williams College, which was ranked No. 13 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Rankings, improves to 6-2 with the victory. The Ephs held a 27-10 shot advantage over the course of the game, while it was also awarded seven penalty corners to the Pride's five.

In net for Springfield College, junior goalkeeper Emmalie Drake (Pittsford, N.Y.) played outstanding as she made 15 saves, just one shy of her career best, as her counterparts, Emma Santucci (Rye, N.Y.) and Abby Lloyd (Hightstown, N.J.), who split halves, combined for four saves in the win. 

Springfield College took full advantage of its first penalty corner of the day, as Paige Laperle (Auburn, Mass.) sent in the pass to Maggie Kennedy (Clay, N.Y.), who stopped the ball and slid a pass to Amanda Nusbaum (Conway, N.H.), before the junior midfielder fired a shot that snuck past Santucci to give the Pride a 1-0 lead just 12:14 into the contest.

Just 5:31 later, Williams got its chance to even the score at one apiece as the Ephs' leading goal scorer, Libby Dolan (Barrington, R.I.), got back-to-back point-blank chances on cage, but Drake remained solid and made two-consecutive stops to keep Williams at bay. The Pride would go into the halftime break with a one-goal advantage.

Williams College pulled even with the Pride just 1:51 into the second half as off a restart, Hannah Goodrick (Darien, Conn.) sent a pass to Dolan, before the junior found an open Alex Bennett (Rye, N.Y.), who found the back of the net to make it 1-1 with 33:09 remaining. Just 6:11 later, Williams took a 2-1 lead when Dolan notched her first goal of the game, as the junior finished off a great pass from Julia Cochran (Riverside, Conn.) on the back side of the cage with 26:56 to play.

The Ephs pushed its lead to two with 22:07 on the clock as Goodrick sent in a penalty corner to Bennett, who ripped one on cage, but the shot was redirected by Cochran for her first of the game, giving Williams a 3-1 cushion over the Pride.  

With 15:24 to play, the Ephs looked to make it a 4-1 game as Meredith Wright (Duxbury, Mass.) fired one on cage, which was stopped by Drake, before the rebound bounced to Bennett, who took another bid on cage, but Drake dove and knocked the ball out of mid air to keep Williams at bay. The Ephs continued the pressure on the Pride's net, as it eventually converted a penalty corner when Goodrick converted a pass from Isabel Perry (Yorktown, N.Y.) to make it 4-1, Williams, with 14:08 remaining.

The Pride was able to get off a few late chances, but Lloyd held tough, keeping Springfield College off the board in the second half and sealing the 5-1 win.

Up next, Springfield College will return to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play as the Pride will travel to WPI on Saturday, September 30 for a 4 p.m. contest with WPI.