Springfield, Mass. - September 13, 2016 - It took 84:21 to break the scoreless tie, but freshman forward Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) found the back of the net for the first time in her career with 5:39 left to lift the Springfield College women's soccer team to a 1-0 win over nationally-ranked Amherst College on Tuesday evening at Brock-Affleck Field.
With the win, the Pride improve to 3-1 to start the year, while Amherst, which was ranked No. 10 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III Women's Soccer National Rankings, suffers its first defeat of 2016, and drops to 2-1 overall.
This marks the first time since September 22, 2010 that the women's soccer program at Springfield College defeated Amherst College, who came into Tuesday night's match as the No.2-ranked Division III women's soccer program in New England.
The Pride held a 13-9 shot advantage over the course of 90 minutes, including a 9-2 margin after the first 45 minutes of play. Additionally, Amherst College posted six corner kicks to the Pride's three.
Junior goalkeeper Ciara Boucher (Manchester, Conn.) picked up her third shutout of the season, as she made four stops in the win. Her counterpart, Chelsea Cutler (Westport, Conn.) made three saves in the defeat.
With just under six minutes remaining, senior forward Shannon Wells (Milton, Vt.) gained control of the ball on the right flank, and sent in a cross that deflected off of sophomore Amanda Wright (Pittsfield, Mass.) and leaked onto the right foot of Sastram.
Taking possession of the ball, the freshman put a bid on goal, that was initially saved by Cutler, but the ball was able to sneak past the sophomore goalkeeper and roll into the net to give the Pride a late 1-0 lead over Amherst College.
Tuesday night's game was highlighted by back-and-forth play from both sides, as both Springfield College and Amherst were both granted multiple scoring opportunities throughout the contest.
Springfield College's best opportunity of the opening stanza came just 11:18 into the contest when Mikaela Coady (Middletown, Conn.) pulled a loose ball out from a group of Amherst College defenders and drilled a shot at the net, but Cutler was able to make the save to keep the Pride at bay.
With 8:52 to play in the first half, Amherst College's Erin McClave (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) was set up in the middle of the box on a great pass from Hannah Guzzi (Southborough, Mass.), but the freshman's shot missed just to the left of the cage to keep it scoreless heading into the break.
Amherst College's best chance of the second half came with just over 30 minutes to play in the game when Guzzi gained control of the ball at the midline and carried the ball into Springfield territory, before setting up Delancey King (Belmont, Mass.) for a point-blank opportunity, which King missed wide left to keep it scoreless.
Springfield College kept pressing the net in the late stages of the second half, and finally broke through with Sastram's late-game heroics, leading the Pride to victory.
Up next, the Pride will open New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play when it will take on Coast Guard on Saturday, September 17 at 2:30 p.m.