BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) scored the go-ahead goal in the 50th minute as second-ranked Babson College defeated seventh-ranked Middlebury College, 2-1, in non-conference field hockey action on Sunday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
With the win, Babson improves to 9-0 on the year, while Middlebury falls to 4-2 overall.
Sophomore Kate Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) had a goal and junior Lauren Drakeley (Woodbury, Mass.) and first-year Maddy Paro (Manchester, Conn.) recorded assists for the Beavers. Sophomore goalkeeper Deirdre Barry (Longmeadow, Mass.) matched her career-high with nine saves in the win.
Junior Grace Jennings (Ghent, N.Y.) scored her first goal of the year, while first-year goalkeeper Abby Furdak (Wellesley, Mass.) turned away five shots in defeat for the Panthers.
Middlebury got on the board on its first entry into the circle when Jennings tapped home a feed from junior Molly Freeman (North Kingstown, R.I.) in front of the cage for a 1-0 lead just 3:39 into the contest. Barry kept the deficit at one with a kick save on a breakaway attempt by Jennings just over two minutes later, and another stop on Panthers' senior Annie Leonard (Darien, Conn.) in the 12th minute.
The Green and White came to life over the later part of the first half and tied the game on Driscoll's fifth tally of the year at the 28:40 mark. Middlebury was unable to clear the ball following a Babson penalty corner and Paro dribbled down the right side of the circle before chipping the ball towards goal for Driscoll, who redirected it past Furdak for the equalizer.
Both goalkeepers made big saves early in the second half before Tango put the Beavers ahead for good just over 14 minutes into the stanza. Drakeley took a penalty corner insert from senior Elise Towers (Cicero, N.Y.) and slid a pass to Tango, whose blast took a deflection off a defender and carried over Furdak for a 2-1 lead.
Despite facing nine Middlebury penalty corners over the final 17 minutes, Barry and the Babson defense stood tall to protect the one-goal edge. Barry made back-to-back saves on Jennings and Leonard, and got some help with a defensive save from Drakeley in the 54th minute. The Green and White successfully defended five consecutive corners in the waning minutes, while Barry turned away one final attempt by Jennings with 27 seconds left to secure the win.
The Panthers finished with a 16-11 edge in shots and held a 14-6 advantage in penalty corners.
Babson returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to Endicott at 7 p.m., while Middlebury hosts 11th-ranked Skidmore on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
• Sunday's win was the first in program history for the Beavers over Middlebury in six all-time meetings.
• Babson is now 3-0 this season and 8-2 since the start of 2015 against nationally-ranked foes.
• The Beavers have won 11 straight games at home.
• Babson is 8-0 this season and 43-2 since the start of 2015 when scoring at least two goals.