Women's Lacrosse Throttles Wellesley, 21-7, In NEWMAC Semifinals

Women's Lacrosse Throttles Wellesley, 21-7, In NEWMAC Semifinals


BABSON PARK, Mass. -- The top-seeded Babson College women's lacrosse team advanced to its third consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference championship game after defeating #4 Wellesley College, 21-7, in the semifinal round at Babson's MacDowell Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Beavers (13-2) now advance to Sunday's championship game at 1 p.m., where they will host second-seeded Springfield after the Pride edged MIT, 14-12, in Saturday's second semifinal. With the loss, Wellesley sees its season come to a close with a record of 9-8.

Babson was led by junior Anna Collins (Winchester, Mass.), who tallied seven goals and one assist for eight points, extending her school record to 84 points on the season. Junior Kaitlin Pettengill (Hopkinton, Mass.) added three goals and one assist for four points, first-year Trisha Babson (Duxbury, Mass.) contributed two goals and three assists for five points, and senior captain Lindsay Bucci (Medford, Mass.) netted three goals. The Beavers also received strong efforts from first-year Bridget McCurdy (Weston, Mass.), who amassed two goals, one assists, two caused turnovers, and three draw controls, senior Kate Nichols (Andover, Mass.), who picked up a team-high four draw controls, and junior Marissa Monaco (Quincy, Mass.), who matched McCurdy with two CTs. Sophomore goalie Sarah Macary (Woodbury, Conn.) played all 60 minutes in net for Babson, finishing with three saves.

Sophomore Jenny Holland (Bethesda, Md.) paced Wellesley with four goals in defeat, while junior Molly Morrow (Bow, N.H.) finished with two goals, two assists, and four draw controls. First-year Meredith Roy (Merrimack, N.H.) also collected four draws to go with two assists and 14 face-off wins, and sophomore Elizabeth Hayes (Roswell, Ga.) tossed in one goal to round out the Blue's scoring. Sophomore goalkeeper Mary Mattia (Atlanta, Ga.) went the distance in net, stopping six shots.  

The Beavers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, as Collins, Babson, and Pettengill all found the back of the net in the opening eight minutes. The two squads then traded goals over the next eight minutes, with Babson senior captain Jackie Godfrey (Franklin, Mass.) converting a pass from fellow senior captain Jess Parker (Cataumet, Mass.) giving the hosts a 6-3 advantage with 14:20 remaining in the half.

Wellesley battled back to tie the contest at 6-6 with three unanswered goals in a 1:22 span late in the period. Holland scored the first off a Roy pass at 13:46, Morrow added an unassisted score at 12:56, and Holland struck again from Morrow at 12:24. However, the Blue would manage just one more goal over the final 42 minutes of play as Babson took over the game with 14 consecutive scores. Collins scored two goals and assisted another during a 5-0 run to close out the first half, and Pettengill, Collins, and Bucci each netted two scores during a 9-0 burst over the first 22 minutes of the second stanza. Hayes scored to snap the streak with 6:18 remaining, but McCurdy struck with 1:35 remaining to finish off the 21-7 Babson victory.

Babson will now host Springfield in Sunday's final. The Beavers will be seeking their third consecutive NEWMAC Championship and NCAA Tournament berth, while Springfield will be vying for its fourth NEWMAC Championship and third in the last five years. 


Springfield Denies MIT, 14-12, To Advance To NEWMAC Finals

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Second-seeded Springfield College used a key 5-0 run midway through the second half to build a four-goal lead en route to an eventual 14-12 win over third-seeded MIT in the semifinal round of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Tournament at Babson College on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, the Pride (12-5) advance to Sunday's championship game against host and top seed Babson at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, the defeat ends a spectacular 2009 campaign for MIT, which finishes the year with a mark of 13-5. The 13 victories is the most in the 18-year history of the Engineers' women's lacrosse program, surpassing the previous mark of 10 wins set back in 1995.

Pacing the Springfield attack was junior Alexandra Bazzano (Newington, Conn.), who tallied four goals while also collecting a team-high five groundballs. Sophomore Kaeleigh Lannan (Derry, N.H.) added three goals for the Pride, while senior captain Erin Doolan (Blauveit, N.Y.), senior captain Heather Dobson (Longmeadow, Mass.), and sophomore Nicole Soucie (Southington, Conn.) each contributed two goals apiece. Junior Jenn Zubkus (Dover, N.H.) chipped in with one goal, two assists, and three draw controls, and junior goalie Lauren McAulay (Yorktown, N.Y.) finished an all-around stellar performance with eight save, four groundballs, and four caused turnovers.

MIT's balanced attack featured three goals from sophomore Edith Reshef (Livingston, N.J.), two goals and one assist from sophomore Erica Little (Sherborn, Mass.) and senior Stephanie Brenman (Newton, Mass.), and two scores each from senior Samantha O'Keefe (Carlisle, Mass.), and sophomore Kelly Duncan (Rockville Centre, N.Y.). Junior Lynne Tye (Ithaca, N.Y.) also scored for the Engineers, while Brenman added four draw controls and 13 face-off victories. Also playing well for MIT were sophomore Stephanie Leger (Vienna, Va.), who led all players with five draw controls, sophomore Alex Wright (Devon, Pa.), who added four groundballs and two caused turnovers, and sophomore goalie Molly McCartin (Arlington, Va.), who made seven saves and picked up three groundballs.

In a hard-fought contest that featured six ties and three lead changes, MIT jumped ahead 2-0 after back-to-back scores by Brenman in the first three minutes. Springfield answered with consecutive goals by Dobson and Soucie to knot the score at 2-2 - the first of four deadlocks in the opening half. The Pride eventually built the largest lead of the period after Doolan netted two straight goals to make it 6-4 with just over 10 minutes remaining, but MIT battled back to pull even again on scores by Little and O'Keefe. Bazzano then struck with 1:02 left in the session to give Springfield a slim 7-6 edge heading into the break.

Bazzano opened the second half with another score to push the Pride's lead back to two, but Reshef tallied back-to-back strikes and O'Keefe netted her second of the game to move MIT in front, 9-8, with 21:04 left to play. However, Springfield responded with a pivotal 5-0 run over the next 11 minutes to take the largest lead of the game for either team, 13-9. Zubkus sparked the run with a goal at 19:47, followed by scores from Dobson at 17:52 and Bazzano at 16:49. Lannan then capped off the spurt with consecutive scores at 12:04 and 10:34, giving the Pride a four-goal cushion.

MIT refused to go quietly, as Duncan and Little each scored on free positions to cut their team's deficit to two, 13-11, with 7:07 on the clock. However, Lannan punctuated a stellar second half with her third goal of the game at 1:49, all but ending the Engineers' comeback hopes. Reshef would strike again for MIT with 24 seconds remaining to cut it back to two, but it would not be enough to prevent the eventual 14-12 Springfield win.

Sunday's championship game will feature a rematch of Babson's closest conference game of the season, as the Beavers edged the Pride in Springfield, 12-11, back on April 11. The last time these two teams met in the NEWMAC Tournament was in 2007, when Babson again won a grueling battle, 11-9, in the conference semifinals.