If the game had ended at the half, it would have been an upset of biblical proportions. You know, like locusts and stuff. Plagues. Famine. Okay, maybe not.
The Anchorwomen held an impressive lead going into the second half for the first time since August 30th against Springfield College last night. Yes, the brightly lit 1-0 score on the maroon board at RIC Soccer Field showed the game in favor of the home team. Chelsea Creamer wowed the crowd with a rocket from 30 yards minutes before the half. It was not just a garden-variety one-goal advantage for the Anchorwomen. This was a lead over a Springfield club that had thumped last year's senior-laden squad to the tune of 3-0. The crowd buzzed with excitement. The RIC ladies were 45 minutes from glory.
44...43...then the tent collapsed.
The next seven minutes saw three Springfield goals, all courtesy of freshman super mid Jen Jahoda. It was wretched. I sat next to a pair of Springfield supporters. They were laughing after Jahoda's seven minute hat trick. Mike Koperda, to his credit, tried to keep his club's spirits alive, by encouraging them to keep their heads up.
After that, I put my notebook down, and just watched Christina Tavana try to rally the troops. She tried everything. A few free kicks. A pair of perfectly-weighted outlet passes. To add injury to insult, the skipper appeared to have hurt herself after she slipped taking the final RIC corner. If it was painful for me, a spectator/student reporter, to watch, I can only imagine what it was like for the Anchorwomen. Even Koperda was running low on compliments as the final minutes mercifully evaporated.
I was aware that there would be games like this. Four-goal losses. 37-9 shot differentials. An opposing freshman scoring hat tricks in less time than it takes for me to switch my car insurance to Geico.
But that's the hallmark of a young team. Goals will be given up at alarming rates. Goalkeeper Maddie Pirri will continue to take more shots per match than Sonny Corleone saw at that desolate tollbooth. This team will have to learn to play from behind. They will need to learn the art of the comeback. And I have no doubt they will. They're 1-9-0 so far, and have two more games in the next four days, which will give them a tiresome three-games-in-five-days stretch that finishes on the road at Western Connecticut, the site of last year's playoff disappointment.
Their mettle will be tested. But I have no doubt that circumstances such as these will likely serve them well in the future.