Springfield, Mass. - November 1, 2018 - Smith College prevailed by a 2-1 score in double overtime over the Springfield College field hockey team in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Semifinals on Thursday night at Stagg Field.
The Pride, which entered the championship as the No. 2 seed, had its season come to a close with a 12-6 record. Smith, the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, improved to 13-7 and reached the NEWMAC Championship for the first time since 1998. Smith will serve as the host for Saturday's championship, which will take place at 1 pm verus fifth-seeded MIT.
Smith owned a 29-3 advantage in shots in the game and took 14 of the 17 penalty corners in the contest. Springfield benefitted from the tremendous play of Emmalie Drake (Pittsford, N.Y.), as the senior notched a career-best 18 saves in her final collegiate game between the pipes. Channy Cornell (Arlington, Texas) made two saves for the visitors in the win.
After a stellar defensive first half for both sides, in which there were only eight shots taken collectively, Kyra Ashe (Longmeadow, Mass.) accounted for the game's first goal at the 56:42 mark when she slipped home a goal on just Springfield's second shot of the game.
Following a green card on Springfield, Smith was able to find the back of the net to knot it up at one a piece with 5:14 remaining in regulation after Neva Richardson (Rehoboth Beach, Del) was able to sneak her bid over the goal line. Drake continued to come up big for the Pride down the stretch, including a pair of diving stops to preserve the tie, and force overtime.
Springfield nearly won the game in the waning seconds of in the first overtime, but it was determined that Amanda Nusbaum's (Conway, N.H.) bid from outside the circle was deflected into the goal by a defender, not a Springfield offensive player. In the second extra session, Emily Biggs (Northampton, Mass.) carried the ball down the right sideline before beating her defender to the inside to cut across the goal mouth. After her initial attempt was snuffed out by a sprawling Drake, Biggs collected the loose ball and flipped it into the top shelf for the game-winner strike at the 84:43 mark.