Springfield, Mass. - October 30, 2018 - Freshman midfielder Kaleigh Dale (Mansfield, Conn.) struck twice, sophomore forward Sara Swetland (Manchester, Conn.) broke a program record for assists in a single season, and the Springfield College women's soccer team defeated Wheaton at Brock-Affleck Field on Tuesday night, advancing to the NEWMAC Championship Semifinals with a 3-1 victory over the Lyons.
The second-seeded Pride improve to 13-4-1 on the year, and will host No. 3 Emerson on Thursday, November 1 on Brock-Affleck Field at 7 p.m. The loss drops the Lyons to 11-7-1 overall. Springfield College held a 26-6 advantage in shots, including an 18-4 margin in the second half of play, as the Pride was also awarded a pair of corner kicks in 90 minutes of play. There were a total of 14 fouls on the evening, 11 of which came from the Lyons.
In net for the Pride, Jackie Davis (Ringoes, N.J.) was outstanding as she made three saves in the victory, while her counterpart, Alexa Barbagallo (Bridgewater, N.J.) had six stops in the setback.
Along with two goals from Dale, Amanda Wright (Pittsfield, Mass.) posted her third goal in as many contests to push her season total to nine, while Sara Swetland (Manchester, N.H.) dished out her conference-leading 11th assist of the year, breaking the Springfield College women's soccer program record for assists in a single season, which was previously held by four student-athletes.
Springfield College jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 16:10 into the contest when Kaleigh Dale (Mansfield, Conn.) gained control of the ball at the midfield, before dribbling through a pair of Wheaton defenders and firing a shot past Barbagallo to give the Pride a one-goal advantage.
The Pride looked to push its lead to a pair in the 38th minute when Sara Swetland (Manchester, N.H.) received a pass at the midfield, before taking one step to her left and finding a seam in the Lyons' back line. As she closed in on the goal, a Wheaton defender was able to come across the field and break up the play, sending Swetland's chance just wide of the cage.
It didn't take long for Springfield College to push its lead to a pair when Kellie Gambell (Middletown, Conn.) picked off a clearing attempt from Barbagallo, before sending a ball into the box, which was controlled by Swetland, and slipped to Amanda Wright (Pittsfield, Mass.), who took a shot from the top of the box that sailed into the top right corner of the net, making it 2-0, Pride.
Just minutes later, Dale had a bid at her second of the game when a loose ball popped out of a scrum to the top of the box, before the freshman struck the ball while facing away from the net, but the ball went just high of the crossbar to keep the maroon and white's lead at a pair.
With just over 16 minutes to play, Dale looked to have another when she grabbed a loose ball in the middle of the field before taking on a Wheaton defender one-on-one. Dale took one step left and ripped a shot from outside the box, but the ball drilled the crossbar and rocketed into the air, landing behind the net.
Wheaton finally broke through in the 78th minute when Jaime Ratteni (West Greenwich, R.I.) sent a long pass in behind the Springfield College defense, which was caught up to by Jenna Palmer (Cranston, R.I.), who secured position on the ball and drove a shot past Davis to cut the Lyons' deficit in half with 12:45 to play.
Just 1:09 later, Springfield College pushed its lead back to a pair when Sydney Wine (New Braintree, Mass.) slid a pass over to Dale, who took one step left and fired a shot past Barbagallo to make it 3-1, Pride, with 11:38 remaining.
The Pride was able to fend off a late rally from Wheaton and seal the 3-1 victory over the Lyons, advancing to the NEWMAC Championship Semifinals.