NORTON, Mass.—Junior Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine) scored a game-high five goals, including two during a critical second half run, and had a pair of assists as Wheaton College topped visiting Babson College 15-12 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse action on Tuesday afternoon at Keefe Field.
Wheaton moves to 9-5 overall and 6-0 in the NEWMAC, clinching its first regular season title since 2005 and the right to host next week's conference tournament. Babson falls to 6-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
Senior Jameson Spang (Kennebunk, Maine) scored a team-high four goals for the Beavers while sophomore Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass.) and senior Taylor Kravlovenec (Cos Cob, Conn.) each had three goals and an assist. Junior Misha Beatty (Westwood, Mass.) tacked on a pair of goals and an assist in the loss.
Junior Charlotte DeSantis (Darien, Conn.) and senior Amy Moreira (Bristol, R.I.) each had four goals apiece for the Lyons, first-year Brook Sabol (Landgrove, Vt.) scored once and had two assists, and classmate Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine) notched four assists in the win.
Beatty and Spang scored 55 seconds apart in the opening minutes, and following a Moreira free-position goal, Spang netted her second tally of the day to give Babson a 3-1 lead with 17:23 remaining the in the first half. The advantage was short lived though, as Mills scored three straight goals to give Wheaton a 4-3 lead with 11:17 to go before halftime, and DeSantis and Moreira each added a goal in the final 4:37 of the period, as the Lyons took a 6-3 lead after 30 minutes.
Wheaton completed its six-goal run as Moreira converted a feed from Bush just 41 seconds into the second half for a four-goal lead, but the Beavers responded, stopping an 18:50 drought with a four-goal run of their own to tie the game at 7-7. Beatty scored off a feed from Secrist at the 28:33 mark, Spang scored a pair of goals just 37 seconds apart, and Secrist notched her first goal of the game to pull even with 21:45 remaining.
After trading scores, the Lyons' took the lead for good, scoring three straight goals, the first by sophomore Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass.) at 17:09, followed by back-to-back tallies from Mills coming just 60 seconds apart, to forge an 11-8 advantage with 13:29 to go. Kralovenec answered with two straight goals for Babson, the second coming on a free-position opportunity, to trim the deficit to 11-10 with 10:59 remaining.
Unfortunately, it would be as close as the Beavers would get as DeSantis notched back-to-back goals of her own as Wheaton regained a three-goal lead at 13-10 with 6:03 remaining. Kralovenec and Secrist each added late goals, twice cutting the Lyons' lead to just two, but they were unable to draw any closer.
Junior Julie Baharestani (Syosset, N.Y.) made six stops for Babson while sophomore Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass.) made just one stop to earn the win for Wheaton.
Senior Emma Locke (Boxford, Mass.) led Babson with three draw controls, Spang had a team-high two groundballs and Secrist and fellow sophomore Ali Korinis (Ridgewood, N.J.) each caused two turnovers. Wheaton held a 16-10 edge on draw controls and forced the Beavers into 15 turnovers on the afternoon.
Babson plays its final regular season NEWMAC contest when it hosts Mount Holyoke on Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm while Wheaton hosts Bridgewater State in a non-conference tilt on Thursday at 4:00pm.