Springfield, Mass. - September 21, 2019 - The Springfield men's soccer team held off Coast Guard for a 2-1 victory at Brock-Affleck Field in both squads New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener.
A year removed from winning the NEWMAC Championship, Springfield improved to 2-5-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. Coast Guard dropped to 3-3 and 0-1 in conference action. Coast Guard led in the shots category 14-12, while Springfield held a slight 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
The Pride got the scoring underway just five minutes into the game when Joseph Olaynack (Middletown, R.I.) found Andrew Ma (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) streaking behind the Bears back line. Ma collected the feed and struck the ball home for his second goal of the season.
Springfield scored again in the 24th minute when Sajan Harvey (Warwick, Bermuda) got free after he dribbled past two Coast Guard defenders. Harvey then fed Wil Lawson (Galway, N.Y.) cutting to the net for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
Coast Guard had a great scoring opportunity in the 27th minute when Mike Daunt let a shot go from just outside the box, but Clayton Knibbs (Madison, Conn.) made an outstanding diving save. The ball then bounced to Robbie Fuggett, but again Knibbs made a great save to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.
Much of the second half was controlled by Coast Guard, an the Bears finally broke into the scoring column in the 79th minute when Mike Daunt converted a penalty kick opportunity. However, Springfield was able to hold on, marking the third-straight season that the Pride opened up conference play with a victory. Dakota Harich had five saves for the Bears in the loss, while Knibbs made four stops in the first half, and Chris Prizio (Trumbull, Conn.) made one stop in the second.
Springfield will next play on Tuesday night when it travels to Endicott for a 7 pm contest.
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