Springfield, MA --- Sofia Orrico (Bethel, CT) and Annika Keck (Oakland, CA) registered second half goals as WPI women's soccer rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to defeat host Springfield and earn a home game in next week's NEWMAC Championship Tournament.
WPI improves to 14-4-1 and have a 5-3-1 record in conference while the Pride finish the regular season with a 11-5-2 record and 6-3-1 NEWMAC mark. The Engineers will be the third seed in the NEWMAC Tournament and will host sixth-seeded Wheaton in a quarterfinal at 4pm on Tuesday. Springfield earned the fourth seed and will host fifth-seeded Emerson at a time to be announced on Tuesday.
At 36:28, Springfield jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Nicole Sweeney (Grafton, MA) made a sliding effort on a Heather Jennato (Hookset, NH) free kick from just outside the box to give the Pride the first score.
From there, the Pride would continue to get promising opportunities, but could not convert. At 42:23, Kaleigh Dale (Mansfield, CT) dazzled a defender and put a shot on frame that connected with the crossbar, just one of her four offensive chances on the day. Springfield would go into the half leading 1-0.
In the second half, the Engineers would find their equalizer at 60:10, as Orrico would rocket one from the right box to make the score 1-1. Then, at 67:20, a corner kick taken by Caitlin Bonavita (Wilbraham, MA) would slip past the Springfield defense and be flicked in by Annika Keck, giving the Engineers the 2-1 lead.
Springfield would look to pursue a comeback with a pair of opportunities in the final 10 minutes. At 78:29, Dale would rise from the crowd for a header off a corner, but have it blocked by Mandy St. Germain (Upton, MA), then at 80:47, Cassidy Bailey (Monson, MA) would get a one-on-one opportunity and lift it just high of the frame. The Engineers would hold on to win 2-1.
St. Germain finished with eight saves for the Crimson and Gray while Caitlin Normoy (Springfield, MA) posted four stops for the hosts.
The Pride outshot the Engineers, 14-11 but WPI held an 8-4 edge in corner kicks.
Majority of Release Courtesy Springfield Sports Information