Springfield, Mass. – November 9, 2008 – For the fifth-straight season, the Springfield College field hockey team captured the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 win over Wellesley College.
The top-seeded Pride improves to 15-6 while the Blue drop to 12-6.
In her fifth season coaching the Pride, head coach Melissa Rogers has now won the NEWMAC Championship every season that she has been at the helm of the Pride.
Leading the way for the Pride in the game was senior Jane Kelleher, who was simply outstanding, tallying a goal and assisting on Becca Gamble’s game-winner with 10 minutes left in the game.
The first real chance for either team came just five minutes in as Wellesley’s Kathryn Fleet dribbled through the Pride defense and found Kate Cushing on the doorstep, but Cushing was unable to get shot off.
The Pride had two solid scoring chances in the opening period, with the first coming with 23 minutes left in the first half. Kelleher powered a three-on-one Pride fast break, but Emily Hewitt came up with her first of many spectacular saves in the game to keep it a scoreless contest.
Hewitt came up big again with three minutes left on the clock as she stopped Alexa Carlson on a breakaway as the first half ended without a goal.
The Blue finally struck with the game’s first goal 2:26 into the second half. After Katie Sang fired a shot from the top of the circle towards the cage, Callie Lekas got her stick on the ball and deflected it into the cage, putting Wellesley up 1-0.
However, Kelleher would not be denied as the senior knotted the game after a terrific individual effort less than five minutes later. Kelleher dribbled through three Wellesley defenders, and ripped a shot from five yards out into the back of the cage.
Springfield took the lead for good at the 10:27 mark. After Kelleher drove past her defender along the goal line, she fired a centering pass which found Gamble. Gamble then slapped a shot into the lower left corner of the cage to put the Pride up 2-1.
Hewitt finished with 21 saves and played solid between the pipes for Wellesley. For the Pride, Alison McCarthy finished with two saves as she picked up the victory in the cage.