Danbury, Conn. - October 28, 2010 - Collin Smith tallied his first collegiate goal in the 85th minute to lift the Springfield College men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Western Connecticut State on Thursday evening in non-conference play.
Springfield finishes up its regular season with an 11-7-1 record, while the Colonials drop to 3-11-1.
Springfield's 11 victories are the most wins under head coach Peter Haley since the 1999 campaign when the Pride went 15-6 en route to winning the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship.
Despite having its regular season come to a close, Springfield is still awaiting to learn its postseason fate. The other six teams in the NEWMAC will play this upcoming Saturday. Depending on those results, Springfield has the potential to earn either the fourth or fifth seed in the upcoming tournament, or it may be one of two teams to not make the postseason.
The Pride owned a 23-13 advantage in shots and a 7-4 edge in corner kicks. Of Springfield's 23 shots, 16 were put on goal as Jack Holub was forced to make 14 saves in goal. Chris Walton finished the match with four saves for the Pride.
WestConn nearly took an early lead in the first half in the fourth minute when senior Daniel DaSilva raced past the Springfield defense on the left side of the box and beat the goalkeeper with a low cross-cage shot. The shot ricocheted off the inside of the post and bounced across the face of the goal, but never crossed the goal line.
Ryan Malone scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season just 9:23 into the contest to give the visiting Pride an early 1-0 lead as he blasted a shot from the right side of the box.
Despite constant offensive pressure, Springfield was unable to add to its lead and the Colonials made the Pride pay in the 68th minute. Luis Duque's free kick from nearly 50 yards out went through the outstretched hands of the Springfield keeper and rolled into the goal just ahead of a diving Springfield defender to even the score at 1-1.
Smith made his first collegiate marker count as he scored off Alex Reilly's corner kick with just 5:31 remaining in the game. Reilly delivered a perfect pass to Smith who was position on the far post about 10 yards out from the goal. The ball managed to elude two WestConn defenders in the air, was quickly settled by Smith, and punched into the back of the goal just beyond the reach of the diving WestConn goalie as the Pride won its ninth game of the season in non-conference play.