WINDSOR — An old-fashioned CVL battle took place in Windsor in a hard-hitting contest that went down to the wire, as the Cosmos scored on Jake Stepler's 46-yard pass to Noah Zierfus with under a minute remaining to give Springfield a 12-6 win on Saturday.
The game was filled with tremendous hits on both sides and an injury to Springfield’s quarterback Sam Presch in the first half that forced him to the bench for the rest of the game with his ankle wrapped in ice. The Cosmos inserted Stepler as quarterback for the rest of the day, all 270 pounds of him.
With Springfield ahead on an opening score, Windsor’s Caleb Meagher rambled down the sideline to tie the game at 6-6 by halftime in a very physical game fought in the trenches.
The second half was a slugfest as Windsor’s Meagher and Connor Hart did most of the ball carrying as Springfield’s defense just wouldn’t let the Yellow Jackets gain any momentum. On the defensive side of the ball, Windsor’s Wyatt Bean, John Cook, Austin Gould and others were forced to gang tackle Stepler in waves while Springfield’s Max Wiese and Dan Hill made life miserable for the Windsor runners.
Neither team had much success on offense in the second half as Windsor was stopped twice on 4th down in Springfield territory. As the Cosmos took over on their own 35-yard line, a pass interference call pushed the ball deep into Yellow Jacket territory. On the final play for Springfield, Stepler scrambled in the pocket and shed would-be tacklers before he let fly a perfect pass to Zierfus who ran right down the heart of the Yellow Jacket defense for the grab at the 8-yard line. Zierfus had enough momentum to fall into the end zone for the game winning score with Windsor tacklers in tow.
Castleton 8, Bridgewater State 0
CASTLETON — After a 10-day break, the Castleton University field hockey team returned to action Saturday afternoon to take on Bridgewater State to open Little East Conference play. The Spartans bombarded the Bears with 41 shots in an 8-0 shutout win.
The Spartans began the scoring just over a minute into the game as Loretta Blakeney scored an unassisted goal from close range. The team quickly put a second goal on the board as Gabriella Hunt slapped one in after Megan Ryan served it across the face of goal.
The first quarter saw two more Spartan goals Blakeney tallied her second of the game and Cydney Jeffrey weaved her way into the striking circle and scored easily extending the lead to 4-0.
The scoring continued for the Spartans right after halftime as Blakeney scored to complete the hat trick to give the team a 5-0 lead.
Hunt tallied three more goals in the third quarter and one more in the fourth quarter to increase her season total to eight. With her four goals,, Hunt now leads the Little East Conference in goals (8) and points (17).
Tashia Pashby-Rockwood started the game and played three quarters. Freshman Hope Brown came into the game to start the fourth quarter and collected one save.
With the win, the Spartans even their overall record to 2-2 and are in a six-way tie for first place in the Little East Conference at 1-0.
Castleton 3, Springfield 2
CASTLETON — The Castleton University men's soccer was triumphant in a hotly contested non-conference match with Springfield College at home on Saturday, 3-2.
Castleton improves to 2-3-0 and Springfield dips to 1-5-1.
Castleton had the lead for most of the game and was able to hold off a relentless second-half surge from the Pride for the win. Three different goal-scorers – Jack Kingdon, Ben Stewart and Jacob Godfrey – accounted for the Spartan offense.
Castleton will return to action on Tuesday as it will travel to intrastate rival Norwich before kicking off conference play on Saturday at home versus UMass-Boston.
Castleton 3, Keene 0
CASTLETON — The Castleton women's soccer team opened its Little East Conference slate with a 3-0 victory over Keene State at home on Saturday.
Taylor Mann and Makenzi Bellando each had a goal and an assist as three different goal-scorers provided the offense for the Spartans and junior goalkeeper Loren Henderson made four saves to pick up her second shutout of the season.
Junior Rylee Nichols rounded out the scoring for Castleton (4-2-0, 1-0-0 LEC), with her conference-leading sixth goal of the campaign.
Castleton returns to action on the road at UMass-Boston on Saturday.