Field Hockey

2016 NCAA Tournament Final Four | 4 NCAA Tournaments | 2 Conference Championships

Game Preview: No. 5 Babson vs. No. 11 Skidmore

Game Preview: No. 5 Babson vs. No. 11 Skidmore

No. 5 Field Hockey No. 11 Skidmore
Saturday, September 2—2 p.m.
Wagner Park—Saratoga Springs, N.Y

Babson and Skidmore will meet for the 13th time on Saturday in a matchup of two of Division III's top teams. The Beavers are 2-10 all-time against the Thoroughbreds and are looking for their second consecutive win in a series that dates back to 2004.

Five different players posted a goal in a 5-0 win against then No. 11 Skidmore. Senior Elise Towers scored the lone first half goal to get the match started. Staci Wallow '17, Victory Spofford '17 and juniors Ashley Tango and Brielle Schafroth-Bach each found the back of the cage in the second half to give the Beavers a 5-0 win. The Beavers were one of four teams to shutout the Thoroughbreds in 2016.

No. 11 Skidmore (1-0) opened the 2017 campaign with a 2-1 OT victory over St. John Fisher on Friday night. Both of the Thoroughbreds goals came from junior defender Meaghan Lynch, including the game winner just 2:23 into extra time. Skidmore returns eight starters from a squad that went 16-6 and won the Liberty League Tournament championship. The Thoroughbreds are led by all-league first team selection junior Gabby Hyman, who tallied 18 goals while leading Skidmore to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

No. 5 Babson (1-0) got two goals apiece from senior Jacki Merrigan and sophomore Carla DiBiase and breezed to a 7-0 win over Worcester State in its season opener on Friday. Under the guidance of head coach Julie Ryan, the Beavers return 15 players from a team that finished 21-3 and went unbeaten in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play. No. 5 Babson (1-0) was picked to finish first when the NEWMAC released its preseason coaches' poll this week after winning two straight NEWMAC regular season titles. The Green and White return the only two sophomores in Division III to earn NFHCA All-America Honors, Tango, the reigning NEWMAC and NFHCA New England East Player of the year, and Lauren Drakeley, the reigning NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Towers, who had one assist on Friday, currently ranks eighth in program history with 89 career points, while Tango moved into the ninth place with 83 points after posting a goal and an assist in the season opener. 

Babson, which returns four starters from a defense that led the country with a school-record 15 shutouts and finished third in Division III with a 0.70 goals against average, allowed just two shots on Friday and kept its opponents off the scoreboard for the 16th time in its last 25 games. 

In addition to DiBiase notching the first two goals of her career, fellow sophomore Tori Roche posted the first two-assist game of her career against Worcester State. Senior Elena Bartholomew and first-year Maddy Paro also picked up the first points of their collegiate careers with second-half assists.

The Green and White went 10-0 on the road in 2016 and its 13-game road winning streak is currently the longest in Division III.

The Beavers, who are playing their first of five opponents in the preseason top-20 poll, have gone 5-2 against nationally-ranked foes over the last two years.