SPRINGFIELD, Mass., (November 8, 2006) – Sophomore midfielder Lauren Peltier (Agawam, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal with less than 12 minutes in regulation to lift the Springfield College women's soccer team over Fitchburg State College, 2-1, in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament.
Rainy conditions stunted the offense through most of the first half. Neither team managed to gain possession long enough to initiate an offensive strike. As the half came to a close (43:13), West Springfield, Mass. native, Michelle Bongiovanni ‘07 knocked the ball into the back of the net during a multi-player skirmish in front of the Fitchburg State goal. The Pride entered halftime with a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Springfield College maintained possession throughout the opening minutes. Thirteen minutes in the second half, Falcon’s leading scorer, Lauren Wundt (Southwick, Mass.) netted the game’s equalizer on a fast break, disrupting the Pride’s control. Both teams battled over the next 20 minutes, despite slippery conditions. Tonight’s physical match saw a total of 19 fouls. At the 78:39 mark, sophomore Lauren Peltier took aim on a ball that had just ricocheted off Fitchburg’s goalkeeper. Her score put the Pride ahead, 2-1. Fitchburg State would not to tie the score again.
Despite the back-and-forth flow of the game, Springfield College held a decided offensive advantage, out-shooting the Falcons 17-5 and holding a 3-1 margin in corner-kicks. Springfield College totaled 10 shots-on-goal to Fitchburg’s four.
Goalkeeper for the Pride, sophomore Sue Jenney (Agawam, Mass.) made three saves on the night. With an 11-2 overall record, Jenney’s season goals-against-average is an impressive 0.81.
Freshmen Emily Swan (Franklin, Mass.) and Kyla Batchelder (Stoughten, Mass.) each played 45 minutes in goal for the Falcons. Swan and Batchelder totaled four saves a piece. Each keeper allowed one Pride goal. The Falcon’s season came to an end with tonight’s loss. FSC finished with a 13-5-1 overall record.
No. 2 Springfield College (13-5) advances to the semifinal round of the ECAC tournament. The Pride will host the winner of No. 3 Keene State vs. No. 6 Bridgewater State match (to be played tomorrow, November 9th) on Saturday, November 11th.