GLASSBORO, N.J.—First-year Caitlin Mertens (Succasunna, N.J.) scored the only goal of the match in the 42nd minute as No. 11/12 Lynchburg College edged Babson College, 1-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at the Rowan Soccer Complex.
Lynchburg (20-2-2), which won the 2014 national title, advances to face the host Profs in a second-round match on Sunday. Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, Babson sees its season come to an end at 14-4-5.
Despite going up against one of the nation's top offenses, the Beavers defended well for much of the match, holding the Hornets to just eight shots on frame. First-year goalkeeper Elizabeth Mycock (Windham, Maine) made four first half saves before Mertens, who had just entered the game as a substitute, took a feed from senior Alexis Jensen (Brambleton, Va.) and drilled a shot from the top of the box into the upper left corner to put Lynchburg up 1-0.
After being held without a shot in the opening 45 minutes, the Green and White had a pair of quality opportunities to equalize after halftime. Senior Kristina Simonson (Easton, Mass.) sent a free kick just over the cross bar from the top of the box in the 56th minute, and junior Marissa Endow (Worcester, Mass.) missed just wide of the right post in the 71st minute following a cross from the left wing.
Classmate Olivia Kerester (Chappaqua, N.Y.) also missed high on her attempt from outside the box in the 79th minute.
Mycock finished with seven saves, just one short of her career high, while junior Tess Frelick (New Hope, Pa.) turned away a pair of shots for the Hornets.
Lynchburg finished with a 15-5 edge in shots and attempted three of the game's four corner kicks.
• Saturday's match was the first meeting between Babson and Lynchburg.
• The loss was the first of the season and just the second in 35 games for the Green and White when allowing one goal or less going back to 10/12/13.
• Babson, which set a new single-season team record with 14 shutouts this fall, conceded one goal or less in 18 of 23 games on the year.
• The Beavers' senior class of Simonson, captain Leisl Bard, Rachel Siegel and Meghan Tyson wrapped up their four-year careers with an overall record of 45-21-15. They also helped Babson back to the NEWMAC title game for the first time since 2010.