The Springfield College women’s lacrosse team has not gotten off to a blazing start in 2017, as the Pride’s record currently sits at 3-3. The amount of offense that Springfield possesses can propel them to a lengthy win streak, but it will take more than a high volume scoring mentality for the team to find the groove it needs to fully establish itself as a NEWMAC force in ’17.
When the Pride scores, it wins. Springfield is 3-0 in contests this year when it’s scored at least 10 goals. In each of the three losses, the Pride has been held under 10 goals. When surveying these two facts alone, one may be quick to diagnose the situation as a case of, “if they can’t score [at least ten] they can’t win.”
Technically that is true, but the one blowout loss of the year came against No. 7 Trinity, 13-3, and the other two defeats were a 8-7 nail-biter to Denison in Fla., and a 9-4 loss to No. 19 Amherst. Two of the three losses have come against nationally ranked opponents, with one more ranked foe coming on the road in No. 12 Brockport on Saturday. Based on the fact that conference play has yet to begin, and Springfield has faced a number of quality (nationally ranked) teams to begin the campaign, there should be no real reason for the Pride to panic this early in the season.
Though that isn’t to say there isn’t certain areas for Springfield to improve on moving forward, as it will be crucial for the Pride to win the close contests come April, when fighting for position in the NEWMAC. Springfield has lost the draw battle in each of the contests lost, and came up short in both the turnover and groundball category against the Bantams and the Big Red. On the season, Springfield trails in groundballs against opponents (115-109) and turnovers allowed (120-110). In the Pride’s loss to Amherst, the Purple and White was able to derail Springfield’s offense by swarming the attacking unit, turning them over 15 times.
In the closing weeks of March, Springfield’s goal-scoring effort is led by Shelby Corsano (14 goals). Bianca Raniolo has dished a team best 11 assists, while Andie Stone has caused 10 opponent turnovers. In the category of ball control, Corsano (16) and Ann Mahoney (13) have corralled 29 draws combined. On the ground, Stone (18), Julia Bireley (13), Amanda Nusbaum (11), have led the team in groundballs retrieved.
Heading into the tilt against Brockport, the Pride will be looking for a spark of confidence. If the offense clicks on all cylinders, the Pride can be a force, but it is in need of a string of good outings in order to vault its groundball total above its opponents total, and cut its turnover total below such mark.