NORTON, Mass.—Senior Taylor Kralovenec (Cos Cob, Conn.) and junior Misha Beatty (Westwood, Mass.) combined to score four goals and dish out seven assists and fourth-seeded Babson College held top-seeded Wheaton College scoreless over the final 18:03 to rally for an 11-8 victory in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Keefe Field.
With the win the Beavers move to 9-7 overall and advance to the NEWMAC Championship game for the seventh consecutive season while Wheaton drops to 11-7 on the season.
Senior Jameson Spang (Kennebunk, Maine) scored a team-high three goals, and sophomore Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass.) and first-year Kayla Farina (Newton, Mass.) each scored two goals for the Beavers, who trailed for much of the afternoon before closing the game with four unanswered goals. Junior Charlotte De Santis (Darien, Conn.) led the Lyons with three goals and two assists and classmate Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine) added a pair of tallies.
De Santis opened the scoring with a man-up goal 3:45 into the first half, staking the hosts to an early 1-0 lead. Beatty scored her first goal of the day for Babson to knot the score at 1-1 but Wheaton responded with a three-goal run, including a pair of strikes from Mills to take a 4-1 advantage with 12:44 remaining in the period.
Secrist converted a feed from Kralovenec to cut the deficit to 4-2 at the 10:52 mark, and following a score by the Lyons' Amy Moreira (Bristol, R.I.), Farina scored off an assist from Beatty to pull within 5-3 just over six minutes before halftime. Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass.) scored her only goal of the afternoon as Wheaton regained a three-goal advantage but Spang's first tally of the day with 3:10 remaining in the stanza helped the Beavers pull within 6-4 at intermission.
Spang and Secrist scored back-to-back goals, capping a three-goal spurt, to open the second half as Babson pulled even at the 25:57 mark. After the teams traded scores, De Santis notched her third goal of the game to give Wheaton its final lead of the day at 8-7 with 18:03 remaining in the contest.
Farina tied the game with her second goal of the game at the 12:12 mark, converting an assist from Kralovenec, and after dominating the scoring scoring chances over the next six and a half minutes, Spang gave the Beavers their first lead of the day with 5:30 to go. First-year Kristina Simonson (Easton, Mass.) won the ensuing draw control and after maintaining possession for nearly three and a half minutes Kralovenec gave Babson a two-goal advantage with just 3:02 remaining. Beatty then capped the scoring, converting a Wheaton turnover, for the final margin.
Junior goalkeeper Julie Baharestani (Syosset, N.Y.) made three saves to earn the win for the Beavers while sophomore Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass.) made eight stops for the Lyons.
Spang, Simonson and senior Emma Locke (Boxboro, Mass.) all had two draw controls for Babson while Secrist, Farina and junior Meghan Andrew (Easton, Mass.) tied for game-high honors with two groundballs apiece.
Babson will face third-seeded Springfield for the NEWMAC Championship on Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm in Norton with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.