Springfield, Mass. – October 23, 2010 - Freshman Ryan Malone scored on a free kick just 55 seconds into the second half as the Springfield College men’s soccer team picked up a crucial 1-0 win over WPI in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play.
The win brings Springfield's record to 10-7-1, including 2-3-1 record in NEWMAC play as it wrapped up its league schedule. Today's win marks the first time that the Pride has reached the 10-win plateau since 2001. WPI drops to 5-8-1, 0-5-1 in league play.
Despite being done with its conference schedule, the other six teams in the conference will play this upcoming Saturday. Depending on those results, Springfield will learn its fate to see if it is one of the five teams to earn a bid into the postseason.
Springfield nearly scored the opening goal of the game just 36 seconds in to the contest. Off a long throw in by Malone, Alex Reilly got his head on the ball, only to have his bid ricochet off the cross bar.
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, the Pride wasted no time scoring in the second half. After WPI was whistled for a hand ball just outside the box, Malone made the Engineers pay with his team-leading eighth goal of the year. The first-year hammered a bending shot into the bottom right corner of the net for his third free kick goal of his young career.
WPI didn't go away and have several promising chances down the stretch. Chris LaBarre's shot from the endline slipped through Springfield goalie Chris Walton’s hands, but Jake Miskin was able to keep the clean sheet after clearing the ball away from the goal mouth.
The Engineers appeared to have the equalizer when Jason Hopkins slotted home a shot with 4:45 remaining, only to have the referee disallow the goal for offsides.
However, WPI had no better chance than with 2:59 left in the contest, as Springfield was called for a hand ball in the box and the visitors were awarded a penalty kick. Kevin Ducharme's attempt was well struck but was pushed wide right as the Pride held on for the 1-0 victory.
The Pride finished with a 7-5 edge in shots and a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks. Walton made one save to as he earned his seventh shutout win the year. Paul Moran made two saves for the visiting Engineers.
The Pride wrap up its regular season on Thursday evening when it travels to take on Western Connecticut at 7:00 pm.