BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Molly Macdonald (Milton, Mass.) scored a game-high three goals and classmate Liz Malenfant (Nantucket, Mass.) stopped 16 shots as visiting Mount Holyoke College used a tremendous defensive effort to upend Babson College, 9-7, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse action at MacDowell Field on Saturday afternoon.
With its fifth win in the last six games, Mount Holyoke finishes the regular season at 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the NEWMAC, while Babson drops to 6-7 overall and 3-3 in conference play with its second consecutive loss.
First-year Kayla Farina (Winchester, Mass.) tallied twice to lead six different scorers for the Beavers while junior Misha Beatty (Westwood, Mass.) added a goal and two assists. First-year Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass.) had two goals and two assists, and junior Brianne Phelan (Quincy, Mass.) scored twice and tacked on an assist for the Lyons.
The defenses for both teams dominated the first nine and half minutes of the game before Phelan converted a feed from sophomore Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn.) as Mount Holyoke opened the scoring at the 20:24 mark. Senior Jameson Spang (Kennebunk, Maine) quickly countered though, scoring on a pass from classmate Taylor Kralovenec (Cos Cob, Conn.) just 50 seconds later as Babson drew even.
Macdonald scored her first goal of the game to push the Lyons back in front 2-1 with 17:28 left in the first half but Farina scored twice in a span of 27 seconds as the Beavers took their only lead of the game at 3-2 with 15:01 to go before halftime. Phelan scored on an assist from Bell to tie the game at 3-3 at the 10:39 mark and Kilburn's only goal of the day helped Mount Holyoke regain a 4-3 lead just 3:22 before intermission. Beatty tied the game for Babson with 2:01 to go, but Malenfant made a late save for the Lyons, keying a breakout which eventually led a free-position goal for Bell with 26 seconds left in the half as Mount Holyoke took the lead for good at 5-4.
Macdonald gave the Lyons their first two-goal lead of the game just 6:37 into the second half following a Babson turnover, but Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass.) brought the Beavers back within one on a free-position goal with 22:08 left in the game. Mount Holyoke seized control of the game from there, though, scoring the game's next three goals while shutting out the Beavers' offense over a span of 19:50.
Macdonald converted a pass from Phelan at the 17:07 mark and just 1:50 later junior Naomi Miller scored following a Babson turnover to put the Lyons in front 8-5. Bell tacked on her second goal of the game at the 10:03 mark giving the Lyons their biggest lead of the game at 9-5. Kralovenec and first-year Kristina Simonson (Easton, Mass.) scored 38 second apart to cut the Babson deficit in half with 1:40 to go but Mount Holyoke won the ensuing draw and ran out the clock, sealing its victory.
Junior Julie Baharestani (Syosset, N.Y.) was tremendous in net for Babson making 12 stops. Spang collected a game-high five draw controls and Farina picked up a career-high six draw controls for the Beavers, who went just 2-for-12 on free position shots.
Kilburn led Mount Holyoke with seven groundballs and four draw controls.
Babson will wrap up its regular season with a non-conference home game against Endicott College on Sunday afternoon at 12pm while Mount Holyoke will await its seeding an opponent for next weekend's NEWMAC Tournament.