Springfield, Mass. – November 17, 2013 -The Springfield College men’s soccer team took home the 2013 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Championship on Sunday at Brock-Affleck Field. The top-seeded Pride took down second-seeded Lasell, 3-0.
Michael Fowler (Maynard, Mass.) was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, racking up two assists in the tournament. The Pride outscored its opponents, 5-0 over the two-day tournament, producing two shut out victories. It was the first time since 1989 that the Pride won the ECAC Championship.
Sunday's win closes out a historic season for the Pride. Springfield tallied 11 shutouts this season and netted 50 goals, both Division III program records. Springfield's 15 wins is the most in Division III program history, tying the 1999 squad and is also the second-most wins all-time. The Pride held opponents to just 17 goals all season, another Division III program mark.
Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) got the Pride on the board in the 24th minute. Tyler Allen (Southbridge, Mass.) headed the ball into the box to Austin Vico (Plymouth, Mass.) who gave a nice feed over the defense to Malone who finished it, putting it into the right side for a 1-0 lead. It was the 13th goal of the season for Malone, tying him for the most goals in a season in Division III program history and the most a Springfield player has scored since the 1992 season.
Just minutes later, Drew Sommer (West Chester, Pa.) racked up his ninth goal of the season, making it a two-goal game in the 38th minute. The junior raced past the Laser defense and buried a shot into the back of the net. The Pride led 2-0 at halftime.
With 5:20 left in the first half, Lasell’s Jonathan Hislop (Arlington, Mass.) blistered a shot towards the cage, but Springfield goalie Billy Schmid (Wethersfield, Conn.) made a huge save, jumping up to knock the shot out for a save.
In the 51st minute, Kevin Nowak (Plainsboro, N.J.) made it a three-goal game. The junior took a pass from Fowler and took it into the box, and after manuevering around the Lasell keeper, ripped a shot into the far corner for a 3-0 Pride lead.
The Pride notched its first postseason victory in Division III program history on Saturday, 2-0 over Norwich in the ECAC semifinals. The last time the Pride won the ECAC Championship was in 1989, as a Division II team. The Lasers won their first ever postseason victory in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday, beating Lesley, 2-0.
The Pride had nine shots on goal to Lasell's three. Schmid earned the win with three saves for the Pride. Colmenares had six for Lasell.