Springfield, Mass. - October 17, 2018 - Freshman midfielder Kaleigh Dale (Mansfield, Conn.) registered her third-career hat trick, as the Springfield College women's soccer team defeated Smith, 3-2, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on a brisk Wednesday evening at Brock-Affleck Field.
With the win, the Pride rebounds from back-to-back losses and improves to 10-3-1 on the year, while the Pioneers are now 7-9 overall with a 2-6 record against league opponents. Dating back to 2009, Springfield College now has an overall record of 7-0-1 when dropping its two previous games, with a combined scoring margin of 24-5.
The maroon and white held a 25-7 shot advantage over 90 minutes of play, including a 17-1 margin in the first half. Each side was awarded four corner kicks. In net for the Pride, Izzy Inglese (Wolcott, Conn.) made one save, while her counterpart, Naomi Falkenberg (Sutton, Mass.) made nine stops on Springfield's 12 shots on goal.
Springfield College applied the pressure on the Smith defense early, as it had five shots in the first 13 minutes of the game, one of which was on goal and saved by Falkenberg. The Pride got on the board 16:07 into the match when Sara Swetland (Manchester, N.H.) drew a foul just outside the Pioneers' box, before Dale stepped up and lofted one towards goal, which hit the hands of Falkenberg and leaked past the goal line to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Smith answered with 10:04 to play in the stanza when Reilly Sullivan (Keene, N.H.) sent a long pass to Etienne Oliver (Sandy, Ore.), who collected the pass and beat a defender before putting a shot on net that ricoheted over Inglese's head and into the net to make it 1-1. The Pride was able to score late in the half, taking a 2-1 lead into the break, as Dale found the back of the net for the second time after Swetland slipped a pass to the midfielder, before she launched a shot on goal that squeaked past Falkenberg, giving Springfield College a one-goal lead with 2:12 on the clock.
Coming out in the second half, Springfield College had the first chance of the frame when Aly Morell (New Britain, Conn.) put a bid on cage, but Falkenberg was able to make the save. Following a wide shot from Amanda Wright (Pittsfield, Mass.), Smith countered, and just like she did in the first half, Sullivan sent a long pass behind the back line of the Pride, only to be caught up to by Peyton McBride (Manchester, N.H.), who carried the ball into the box and sent a shot past Inglese to make the score 2-2.
Smith had a chance to pull ahead by one just 8:08 later when a Springfield College foul resulted in a direct free kick for Sullivan, who hit the cross bar, before the rebound, which was collected by Hannah Kelsey (Hopkinton, N.H.), who's shot went just wide of the cage, keeping it a 2-2 tie.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Springfield College began to pass the ball around in the Pioneers' defensive territory, before Mackenzie Luiz (Newington, Conn.) slipped a pass to Dale, who took one step left and slotted a shot into the bottom left corner of the net, giving the maroon and white a late 3-2 lead over Smith. The Pride would be able to defend the late charge from Smith, escaping with a 3-2 win.
Up next, Springfield College will take on MIT on Saturday, October 20 at 3 p.m. on Brock-Affleck Field.