Springfield, Mass. - October 31, 2012 - Kayla Sokol tallied a goal and two assists to help the Springfield College field hockey team advance past visiting Clark University, 5-1, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Quarterfinals on Wednesday evening on Stagg Field.
Fourth-seeded Springfield evens its record to 9-9 and will advance to take on top-seeded Babson on Saturday in the NEWMAC Championship Semifinals. Gametime is set for 12:00 pm. The loss drops fifth-seeded Clark to 12-6.
For the game, the Pride held a 22-7 advantage in shots, including a 12-2 edge in the decisive second half. The Pride also took 17 penalty corners, compared to just eight for the visiting Cougars.
Springfield wasted little time netting the game’s first goal, striking just 2:45 into the contest. After Liz Hurley’s initial bid from seven yards out was kicked aside by Clark keeper Jordannah Saunders, Meg McHugh collected the ball on the right post and jammed in her ninth goal of the season.
The Pride tacked on its second goal of the opening half in the 18th minute. McHugh once again factored into the scoring, carrying the down right flank before blasting a centering pass past a sprawling Saunders. Katie Gill was left all alone and one-timed a shot empty net from five yards out to give the hosts a 2-0 lead heading into the half.
Clark made it a one goal game off a terrific counterattack 10 minutes into the second half. Madeleine Lutts got the play started, carrying the ball some 30 yards before pushing the ball past Springfield goalie Timarie Villa, who had charged 20 yards out of her cage. Kelly Hart raced onto the ball blasted a shot into a wide open net from a tough angle.
Springfield regained its two-goal cushion off an unassisted marker from Sokol. Following the Pride’s 16th penalty corner of the game, Sokol made a move to her left before ripping into the bottom right corner in the 56th minute.
The hosts added a pair of insurance goals in the final five minutes to seal the victory. Kelly Gallo and Libby Hart both netted goals assisted by Sokol to complete the 5-1 victory.
Villa ended the game with three saves to earn the victory, while Saunders posted eight stops in the loss.