Field Hockey Becomes First Women's Program to Reach NCAA Final Four with Win Over Franklin & Marshall
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) broke a scoreless deadlock with 6:46 remaining in regulation as the Babson College field hockey team became the first women's program in school history to reach the Final Four with a 1-0 win over Franklin & Marshall in an NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal on November 13 at MacDowell Field.
The Beavers got first-half saves from first-year goalkeeper Deirdre Barry (Longmeadow, Mass.) and senior back Nicole Smith (Barrington, R.I.), who kept the game scoreless by clearing a Diplomats scoring attempt off the goal line with less than seven minutes to go before halftime. The Green and White limited Franklin & Marshall to just one second-half shot, and scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute when Tango converted a feed from sophomore Lauren Drakeley (Woodbury, Conn.) for her 18th marker of the season.
Babson, which won a school-record 21 games, defeated Mount Holyoke and MIT to capture its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament title since 2011, and blanked St. John Fisher 3-0 in its NCAA Tournament opener. The Beavers historic run came to an end with a 5-2 loss to eventual national champion Messiah in a national semifinal.
The Green and White finished unbeaten in conference play for the fourth time since 2007, and scored 88 goals, good for the second highest total in program history. The Beavers also posted 15 shutouts and set a new record by not allowing a goal for nearly 462 minutes over their final seven games of the year.