BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off a fourth consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season title, the Babson College field hockey program is looking to continue its success in 2019.
WHERE WE LEFT OFF
Despite getting upset in the NEWMAC Tournament semifinals to end last season, the Beavers enter the year riding a 26-game regular season conference winning streak. The Green and White has gone 8-0 in each of the last three seasons and have not dropped a regular season league tilt since 2015 under the direction of head coach Julie Ryan, who has helped the program finish atop the NEWMAC standings in seven of her 12 seasons at the helm.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Babson enters the 2019 campaign looking to replace the winningest senior class in school history, one that included a pair of three-time All-America selections in Ashley Tango and Lauren Drakeley. The good news for the Beavers is they return eight starters from last year's 15-4 squad, which includes three players that earned all-conference and all-region accolades in 2018.
The Green and White averaged a school-record 4.32 goals per game last year, highlighted by senior Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) finishing with career highs of 22 tallies and 49 points. Her 22 markers were the most by a Babson player since 2012 and good for the fifth most in single-season program history. Sophomore Lauren Curley (Stow, Mass.) finished fourth on the team in scoring with eight goals and two assists for 18 points, while classmate Quinn Greer (Providence, R.I.) tallied seven times and was fifth on the team with 17 points. Senior Carla DiBiase (Winchester, Mass.) scored six times last fall and classmate Kate Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) put away a career-high seven goals as a sophomore in 2017 before missing nearly all of last year due to injury.
DEFENSE YOU CAN DEPEND ON
The Beavers return four starters along the backline after giving up less than a goal per game for the fourth consecutive season last fall. Sophomore Cassidy Riley (Catonsville, Md.) posted six shutouts to go along with a 0.99 goals against average and a .765 save percentage as a rookie, while senior Haley Pesce (Roxbury, Conn.), junior Maddy Paro (Manchester, Conn.), who tied for second on the team with six assists, and sophomore Mackenzie Larson (Madison, Conn.) combined to start all but one game. Junior Ellie Bisceglia (Kenilworth, Ill.), who made three starts and appeared in 13 games overall, is primed to slide in as a starter at outside back.
CHANGES IN THE MIDDLE
With Tango gone, the Green and White will feature a new-look midfield led by senior Cate Diamond (Hingham, Mass.), who has made 38 starts over the last two seasons. Sophomore Millie Brady (Far Hills, N.J.) started 19 contests and finished with nine points as a rookie in 2018, while classmate Isabella Boonstra (Suffield, Conn.) and junior Cate McShane (Louisville, Ky.) will look for expanded roles after appearing in 14 and 11 games, respectively, last fall.
HALVES TO QUARTERS
Fans will notice two major rule changes when the season gets underway next week. The duration of the game has changed from two 35-minute halves to four 15-minute quarters. Along with this modification, the clock will now stop from the time a penalty corner is called and will restart when the ball is put back in play.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDARS
The Green and White faces six teams that participated in last year's NCAA Tournament, which includes games against defending national champions Middlebury on September 15 at MacDowell Field and a visit to 2018 Division III runner-up Tufts on September 25. The Beavers open NEWMAC play at home against MIT on September 21 and travel to defending conference tournament champions Smith on October 19.