BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Christian Schneider (Douglas, Mass.) broke a scoreless deadlock in the 88th minute to lift second-seeded Springfield College to a 1-0 win over top-seeded Babson College in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament final on Saturday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
With the win, Springfield (14-4-1) captures it second conference title in three years and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Babson, which had its six-game winning streak snapped, falls to 12-3-4 overall and will hope to receive one of 19 at-large bids to the Division III Championship when the field is announced on Monday.
The Pride's goal came against the run of play as Schneider gained possession in the midfield and played it wide to the left flank before volleying first-year Andrew Ma's (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) low cross inside the near post for his sixth marker of the year with 2:57 left in regulation. For his work, Schneider was selected as the NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Junior goalkeeper Steven Heintzelman (Middleton, Mass.) made three saves, all in the first half for the Beavers. His counterpart, senior Stewart Frank (Pittsford, N.Y.) of Springfield, made all six of his saves over the final 45 minutes.
The Pride outshot the Beavers 8-4 in the opening period, but Heintzleman kept the game scoreless by getting his fingertips on a 25-yard free kick from senior Brad Deckel (Lansdale, Pa.) in the 33rd minute. The Green and White appeared to earn a penalty kick in the 59th minute when first-year Ryan Goss (Glastonbury, Conn.) was tackled on the left side of the box, but the referee called the foul just outside the box and senior Noah Parker's (Hampden, Maine) free kick was headed out of danger.
Frank punched away a header by Babson first-year Mitchell Collins (Burlington, Mass.) in the 62nd minute, and denied a volley by Collins with another diving stop in the 67th minute. Beavers' first-year Robert Dunne (Medway, Mass.) also was denied by Frank, who came charging off his line to snare his bid to break the deadlock with a shot that was headed to the far post in the 76th minute.
Babson will find out if it is selected when the NCAA Tournament selections are announced on NCAA.com on Monday at 1 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 20-7-4 all-time against Springfield.
• Babson was making its 12th NEWMAC Tournament championship game appearances and is now 7-4-1 in the final.
• The top seed has not won the NEWMAC Tournament since 2010 when the Beavers captured their third consecutive title as the hosts.
• Saturday's loss was the first at home this season for Babson, which entered the match 8-0-0 in games at Hartwell-Rogers Field and MacDowell Field.