BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Anna Neumann (Aberdeen, Md.) scored four minutes into the contest and first-year goalkeeper Grace Moore (Boston, Mass.) made eight saves as the 12th-ranked MIT field hockey team edged third-ranked Babson College, 1-0, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament final on Sunday at MacDowell Field.
With its eighth straight win, MIT (17-2) captured its first conference title since 2012 and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Babson (17-4), which saw its 16-game home and 18-game league winning streaks come to an end, will hope to earn one of five Pool C at-large berths to the national tournament when the field is announced late Sunday night.
Neumann notched the only goal of the game on the Engineers' first shot of the day. Following a buildup down the right side, first-year Amanda Garofalo (Fairfield, N.J.) tipped a centering pass to Neumann, who pushed it past Beavers' sophomore goalkeeper Deirdre Barry (Longmeadow, Mass.) for her 13th tally of the year.
Despite owning an 18-2 edge in shots and a 19-1 advantage in penalty corners, the Green and White was unable to solve Moore, who was selected as the NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player. She denied Babson junior Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) in the opening minutes of the first half, and then made six of her eight stops over the final 35 minutes.
Moore denied a blast by Beavers' junior Lauren Drakeley (Woodbury, Conn.) following a corner just under 12 minutes into the second half, and then kicked away another hard shot by Tango from the left side of the circle in the 50th minute. She made her best save of the day on Drakeley's bid to tie the game from point-blank range with 9:39 to play, and capped the victory with two more stops in the closing minutes of the match.
Barry was not credited with a save for Babson, which outshot MIT 14-0 in the second half.
The NCAA Tournament selections will be announced on NCAA.com at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.
• The Beavers, who had won five straight games against MIT entering Sunday's final, are now 27-16 all-time against the Engineers.
• Babson is now 2-4 all-time in conference tournament finals matches.
• Sunday's home loss was the first for the Beavers since a 3-2 overtime setback against Bates on October 12, 2016.
• Sunday's loss was Babson's first in 36 games over the last two seasons when allowing just one goal.