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Springfield falls to Waterloo for second time

The Vikings end the Tigers’ 4-game winning streak with a 5-1 road victory

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes Springfield sophomore Kendall Maughan blocks a pass heading toward the Tigers goal during the first half of Springfield’s 5-1 loss to Waterloo.

NEW MIDDLETOWN — With the playoff slowly approaching, the time to really buckle down and hone in on a team’s strengths and weaknesses are here for coaches and teams alike.

Despite having six seniors on its roster, Springfield is a clear-cut example of a younger team who had to earn its stripes on the pitch throughout the fall. Riding a four-game win streak into Wednesday evening, the Tigers looked to compete against a strong Waterloo team who tallied nine goals against them on the road earlier this season.

Springfield ended up on the wrong side of 5-1 loss to the Vikings at home Wednesday evening but held their Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference foe at bay during the first half.

“I think we went into the idea that we were passing (Waterloo’s Kaira English) off instead of staying with her as she made that run across the middle,” said Tigers coach Justin Kosek “Kaira would get the ball on the left side, dribble it across the middle of the goal, and we’d get about a third of the way with her and then we’d leave her.

“The next person wasn’t stepping up, and we don’t want to step up. We just want to stay on her and mark her all the way across and we kinda passed her off, and that’s not the idea we had going into the game.”

English tallied two of the five Waterloo goals following a deadlocked 0-0 first half. Within the first four minutes of the second half, the Vikings had found the back of the net twice, with all the momentum in the world following their path.

Down 4-0 late in the contest on a chilly and slightly rainy afternoon, sophomore Kendall Maughan made a shot toward the left side but just missed the target before fellow sophomore Sami Shafer cleared up the score to end the shut out with just a hair over 10 minutes left to go in the contest.

“We controlled for the next five minutes, and I thought we’d be able to slip another one in and start to put a little pressure on them,” said Kosek.

Springfield (7-3-2) came into Wednesday evening out scoring their foes 32-2 over their last four contests, finding scoring outbursts throughout the fall. Their slate has included a draw against Champion as well as South Range, but two of their three losses have come at the hands of the Vikings.

Sometimes it’s just putting the pieces together, senior Graciella Ebert hasn’t played since second grade, but joined this year starting as an outside backer. Peyton Kliem and Brionna Holt are two of the team’s three captains, along with junior Ava Vecchione.

Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Cappelli has anchored the spot between the bars, but the Tigers start three sophomores and Maddie Page as a freshman after losing multiple four-year players from the 2021 team.

“Page has kinda played a little bit everywhere for us, but we’ve kinda settled her in the middle now and she’s comfortable there. She’s going to be fantastic. ” Kosek said. “Sami stepped up a lot, Hannah Stouffer has been one of the backbones of this team.

“It’s gone crazy fast, every year seems to go a little faster. We’re 12 games into the season now, and now it feels like we just started two weeks ago. July hit and it’s been non-stop ever since then. We’ll get ready for (the postseason), but we’re going to enjoy the last games we have on the schedule.”

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