BABSON PARK, Mass. – First-year Meghan Andrew (Easton, Mass.) scored her first collegiate goal in the 77th minute to lift the Babson College women’s soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 victory over visiting Emmanuel College in the season opener for both teams at Hartwell-Rogers Field on Wednesday afternoon. The win was the first for Babson head coach Nellie Pineault, who took over the program this past offseason after six years as an assistant.
Babson held a commanding 32-8 shot advantage in the contest, but Emmanuel sophomore keeper Jessica D’Ottavio (Pawling, N.Y.) kept the Gulls in the game with several brilliant saves in net. She made back-to-back stops on wide open looks by Beavers’ All-New England sophomore Amy Festa (Medfield, Mass.) in the opening 11 minutes of the second half, and later tipped a 30-yard rocket by sophomore Ari Tidwell (Rehoboth, Mass.) just over the crossbar at the 70-minute mark.
The Beavers finally broke through in the 77th minute, as junior Lauren Clement (Pittsfield, Mass.) gathered the ball out of a skirmish in front and slid to Andrew on the right side of the box. The rookie midfielder then poked it past D’Ottavio and inside the right post for the first goal of her career.
That would be enough for senior tri-captain Kristy Benoit (Shrewsbury, Mass.), who made three saves to earn her first career shutout in net. D’Ottavio finished with 13 saves in goal for Emmanuel.