Springfield, Mass. - November 1, 2018 - For the third-consecutive season, the Springfield College men's soccer team will vie for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, as the Pride defeated WPI, 1-0, in the NEWMAC Championship Semifinals, hosted at Brock-Affleck Field on Thursday afternoon.
The Pride will wait for the winner of top-seeded Babson and fourth-seeded Wheaton, and will take on the victor on Saturday, November 3. Babson and Wheaton play at 7 p.m.
With 8:35 remaining, Jack Rosenberg (Simsbury, Conn.) sent a long ball behind the WPI back line, which was caught up to by Brad Deckel (Lansdale, Pa.) before the senior chipped a shot past the charging Engineers' netminder Rufus Adams (Duxbury, Mass.) and into the back of the net to give the Pride the go-ahead strike.
From there, the Pride was able to drain the remainder of the clock and seal the 1-0 win. Deckel's goal was the first goal between Springfield College and WPI dating back to the 2016 season when Keon Haji (Shrewsbury, Mass.) scored with 11:25 remaining to lift the Pride to a 2-1 win over WPI.
The maroon and white held a 13-10 advantage in shots over 90 minutes of play, while the Engineers were awarded four corner kicks to the Pride's three. In net, Stewart Frank (Pittsford, N.Y.) made three saves in the win, while his counterpart, Adams, also made three stops.
Springfield College got the first opportunity of the game with 25:51 to play in the first half when Brad Deckel (Lansdale, Pa.) carried the ball up the left side of the field, before taking a shot, that was saved by Adams, but Christian Schneider (Douglas, Mass.) was able to collect the rebound and sent a shot just wide of the right post.
WPI's best chance of the first half came in the closing minute when a direct free kick was sent into the Pride's box, before Ben Rickson (West Warren, Mass.) got a header off towards cage, but Frank was able to make a point-blank save to keep WPI off the board.
The Engineers opened the second half with another scoring chance, as Mark Calnan (Winchester, Mass.) broke down the right side before putting a last-second bid on the cage, but Frank once again stood his ground and made a point-blank save to keep WPI at bay.
After back-and-forth soccer for a majority of the second frame, a turnover at midfield resulted in Rosenberg setting up Deckel for the game-winning strike. With the win, the Pride will advance in the tournament for the third-consecutive season.