BABSON PARK, Mass. - The Babson women's lacrosse team has gone undefeated in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season play for the third straight season after winning their final regular season match of the year 18-4 over visiting Wheaton College. Babson's offense was led by juniors Anna Collins (Winchester, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Pettengill (Hopkinton, Mass.) who scored five goals apiece in the defeat. With the win, the Beavers improve to 12-2 on the season, 6-0 in the NEWMAC and Wheaton is now 6-9 overall, 2-4 in the NEWMAC.
#5 seeded Wheaton will visit #4 seeded Wellesley College on Wednesday for the first round of the NEWMAC championship tournament. #1 seeded Babson has a first round bye and will face the winner of the Wheaton/Wellesley game in the semifinals Saturday, May 2nd at noon at Babson College. The winners of the two semifinal games will play in the championship on Sunday, May 3rd also to be played at Babson College.
Sophomore Alyssa Hood (Newport, R.I.) put the Beavers on the board just 13 seconds in and teammates Pettengill and Collins quickly followed for three goals in under one minute of play. Babson then scored three more goals giving them the 6-0 lead with 20:21 left in the first half. Junior Chrissy Norberg (Winchester, Mass.) gave Wheaton their first goal of the game with a free position goal at the 16:57 mark. Babson then went on to score six more unanswered goals to take the 12-1 with under five minutes to play in the half. Wheaton's Madeline Williams (Annapolis, Md.) sneaked in a goal at the horn to make the score 12-2 at the half.
In the second half, Babson scored six more unanswered goals and held Wheaton off until the final minute when senior Caitlin Grant (Walpole, Mass.) scored an unassisted goal with 54 seconds remaining and Williams score another buzzer-beater to end the game with a score of 18-4 in favor of Babson.
Babson outshot the Lyons 31-11 and controlled 17 of 22 draws. Nine different players tallied points for the Beavers including Collins who had a game high seven point with five goals and two assists. After Saturday's performance, Collins has set a single season program record with 76 total points on the season scoring 61 goals and adding 15 assists. Collins also had a game high seven groundballs, five draw controls, and five caused turnovers in the win. Pettengill had five goals on the day and first-year Bridget McCurdy (Weston, Mass.) and seniors Jess Parker (Cataumet, Mass.) and Lindsay Bucci (Medford, Mass.) each added two goals. Hood and first-year Trisha Babson (Duxbury, Mass.) rounded out the Beaver offense each adding one goal. Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Macary (Woodbury, Conn.) played 46 minutes for Babson making four saves and junior Laura Bronner (Greenwich, Conn.) finished out the game with two saves.
For Wheaton, Williams had two goals and Grant and Norberg each added one. Defensively the Lyons were led by junior Kate Kimball (Lexington, Mass.) with four caused turnovers and senior Bridget Thornton (Southington, Conn.) who picked up a team high three groundballs. Sophomore goalkeeper Marianna Marcellin (Milton, Mass.) went the distance in net making eight saves.
Prior to Saturday's game, there was a brief ceremony in honor of Babson's four seniors who played in their final regular season home game. Over the last four years, Lindsay Bucci, Jess Parker, Jackie Godfrey (Franklin, Mass.), and Kate Nichols (Andover, Mass.) have helped lead the Babson women's lacrosse program to unprecedented success. Since their arrival in the fall of 2005, the Beavers have posted an incredible record of 53-16, including NEWMAC Championships and NCAA Tournament berths in each of the last two seasons. This season, they have once again led the Beavers to elite status, entering Saturday's game with a ranking of 13th in the nation. With 53 career victories and counting, they will graduate with the most wins in the 23-year history of Babson women's lacrosse.