NORTON, Mass., November 6, 2005 - The second-seeded Springfield College women's soccer team battled top seed Wheaton College to a 1-1 double-overtime tie this afternoon (Nov. 6) at Mirrione Stadium before corralling its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament title by winning a shootout, 4-3. The Pride automatically qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament and extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games by moving to 13-4-3. By remaining undefeated in their last 14 contests, the Lyons are now 16-4-2 and will await word on a possible NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Wheaton had won the last five NEWMAC Tournaments, including knocking off SC in both 2001 and 2003. The Lyons are unbeaten in their last 64 games against league foes.
The Pride controlled the first 30 minutes of action, sending four shots toward the Wheaton net while holding the Lyons without a shot. Wheaton had a goal disallowed in the 31st minute following a foul in the box, while Springfield netted the game's first tally during the 39th minute. After a scramble in the box, sophomore Christine Turbitt (East Providence, R.I./) tapped a shot just across the goal line as Lyon defenders attempted to clear the ball. Classmate Nicole Hanewich (Cumberland, R.I.) assisted.
In the 51st minute, the Lyons had another goal disallowed following an offsides call, but sophomore Lauren Konopka came through five minutes later. Konopka, the NEWMAC's leader in points and goals, received a long pass from junior Bridget Furlong before rushing to the box, cutting to her left past three defenders and firing a left-footed shot that eluded sophomore keeper Amanda Petri (East Granby, Conn.). Each team had a number of key scoring opportunities during the last 30 minutes, as Wheaton recorded crucial goal line stops by Konopka and senior Kate Miller on a pair of SC shots.
Wheaton held a 9-1 advantage in shots during the 10-minute overtime periods, but Petri made a pair of diving saves to prevent the Lyons from scoring, and the teams advanced to penalty kicks. After junior Cari Capodiece (Berlin, Conn.), who did not play during regulation or overtime, converted SC's fourth-straight kick, Wheaton missed its fifth attempt, which sealed the Pride's shootout victory. Sophomore Stacey Kronenberg made eight saves for Wheaton, while Petri had nine.
This is SC's first-ever NEWMAC Tournament Championship, as the Pride will now await its seeding in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament, which will be announced early Monday morning (Nov. 7).Penalty Kicks: