Springfield, Mass. - October 20, 2018 - Despite sophomore forward Sara Swetland (Manchester, N.H.) finding the back of the net for the fourth time this season, the Springfield College women's soccer team suffered a 3-1 setback to visiting MIT on Saturday afternoon at Brock-Affleck Field.
With the loss, the Pride drops to 10-4-1 on the year and 6-2 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play, while MIT, which was receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches Division III National Rankings, improves to 13-2-2 on the year and remains unbeated in league play at an 8-0 mark.
Springfield College held a 13-12 advantage in shots over 90 minutes of play, as the Engineers were awarded seven corner kicks to the Pride's five. There were a combined 16 fouls in the contest, 12 of which were committed by MIT. In net for Springfield College, Izzy Inglese (Wolcott, Conn.) got the nod and made three saves, before Jackie Davis (Ringoes, N.J.) came in for the final 13:53 of play.
MIT struck first as Karenna Groff (Weston, Mass.) took a pass from Sophia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and drove down the left flank, before cutting back top side and letting a shot fly that snuck past Inglese to make it 1-0 Engineers with 15:41 on the clock. The one-goal difference would carry the two sides into the halftime break.
Coming out in the second stanza, MIT pushed its lead to a pair when Emily Berzolla (Riverside, Conn.) sent a corner kick into the box, which was tipped by a Springfield College defender, finding an open Struckman, who blasted a shot from the top of the box into the net to make it 2-0 just 7:05 into the second half. The Engineers would push their lead to three just 4:06 later when Amy Apostol (Los Gatos, Calif.) touched a ball to Montana Reilly (Los Angeles, Calif.), who slipped a pass across the goal mouth to a covered Groff, who got a foot on it and found the back of the net for her second of the game.
Springfield College countered with a goal of its own 1:22 later as Swetland drew a foul from MIT, setting up an excellent direct free kick from Kaleigh Dale (Mansfield, Mass.) which was sent to the back post before Swetland rose above her defender and headed the ball past Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.) to make it 3-1 with 32:28 to play.
MIT looked to push its lead back to three with 19:06 to play as Hailey Nichols (Boulder, Colo.) got a shot off from the top of the box, that got past Inglese, but Kellie Gambell (Middletown, Conn.) was able to save the ball from crossing the goal line, keeping it a two-goal game. Minutes later, after getting dragged down on the left side of the box, Dale had a chance to cut the Pride's deficit to one with another direct free kick, but Mueller turned aside the scoring chance to preserve the two-goal victory.
Up next, Springfield College will return to Brock-Affleck Field on Wednesday, October 20 when it takes on Wheaton at 7 p.m.