BABSON PARK, Mass. - The top-seeded Babson College women's lacrosse team secured its third consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship and NCAA Division III Tournament berth on Sunday, as the Beavers defeated second-seeded Springfield College by a score of 15-7 in the NEWMAC Tournament Finals at Babson's MacDowell Field.
The victory improved the Beavers' record to 14-2 on the season and extended their conference winning streak to a program-record 24 games. Babson will now await the identity, time, and location of its First Round opponent when the official NCAA Tournament field is announced later tonight.
With the loss, Springfield sees its 2009 campaign come to a
close with a record of 12-6.
Leading Babson's potent offensive attack were junior Kaitlyn Pettengill (Hopkinton, Mass.), who recorded four goals and three assists for seven points, and senior captain Jackie Godfrey (Franklin, Mass.), who finished a tremendous all-around performance with two goals, two assists, three groundballs, three draw controls, and three caused turnovers. Sophomore Kristy Benoit (Shrewsbury, Mass.) turned in a spectacular effort off the bench for the Beavers, totaling two goals, one assist and three caused turnovers in 25 minutes of play, and junior Anna Collins (Winchester, Mass.) and senior captain Jess Parker (Cataumet, Mass.) contributed two goals apiece. Collins also picked up four draw controls, while first-year Trisha Babson (Duxbury, Mass.) dominated the face-off circle by winning 18 of 23 draws and collecting four groundballs and five draw controls.
Springfield was paced by junior Jenn Zubkus (Dover, N.H.), who scored two goals and assisted another, and senior captain Erin Doolan (Blauvelt, N.Y.), who netted two goals. Sophomore Megan O'Brien (Winthrop, Mass.) led all players with seven groundballs off the bench, while junior Lauren McAulay (Yorktown, N.Y.) finished with 11 saves in just under 57 minutes in net.
After Pettengill and Pride first-year Jackie Moscardelli (Weymouth, Mass.) exchanged goals in the first three minutes of play, Babson surged ahead, 3-1, after Godfrey assisted Pettengill at 24:34 and then scored a goal of her own at 20:59.Springfield answered with back-to-back strikes by junior Alexandra Bazzano (Newington, Conn.) and senior captain Heather Dobson (Longmeadow, Mass.) to tie the contest at 3-3 with 18:37 remaining in the first half, but the Beavers went on to score five unanswered goals, including two by Collins, to take an 8-3 lead. The Pride got one back when Zubkus scored with three minutes left in the period, cutting Babson's advantage to 8-4 heading into the break.
Pettengill assisted Parker just over a minute into the second half to push the Beavers' lead back to five, but Doolan gave Springfield some life with two straight goals to make it a 9-6 contest. A second yellow card to Babson senior Lindsay Bucci (Medford, Mass.) and an injury to Collins then left the Beavers without two of their top starters, but a pair of brilliant performances off the bench helped Babson pull away.
First, after an injury forced Collins out of the game at 13:03, rookie Chanel Andre (Southborough, Mass.) came in and played outstanding defense to help hold the Pride to just one goal over the next nine minutes. Meanwhile, Benoit came on in place of Bucci and provided a huge spark on the offensive end, stripping a Springfield player at midfield and charging in for a breakaway goal at 10:14. She then assisted Pettengill on another Babson goal at 8:26 before netting her second of the game just nine seconds later to extend the hosts' lead to 12-6. Pettengill would tack on another score at 6:06 before assisting two more goals in the final three minutes as the Beavers came away with the 15-7 victory.
Sophomore goalie Sarah Macary (Woodbury, Conn.)
was once again stellar in net for the Beavers, finishing with six
saves in the winning effort. For Springfield, first-year Katlyn
Lavin (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) came in and made two huge
saves in three minutes of action after McAuley was assessed with a
yellow card with 8:35 left in the first half.