NORTON, Mass.—Sophomore Michelle Dorsey (Wilbraham, Mass.) scored a game-high three goals and junior goalkeeper Anne Versprille (Franklin, Mass.) made 13 saves as third-seeded Springfield College used a suffocating defensive effort to defeat fourth-seeded Babson College, 7-2, to claim the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's lacrosse championship on Sunday afternoon at Keefe Field.
With the victory, the Pride (11-7) claimed their second consecutive NEWMAC title, and fifth overall, as well as the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers finish their season at 9-8 after reaching the conference championship game for the seventh straight season.
First-year Kayla Farina (Newton, Mass.) led Babson with a goal and an assist while senior Taylor Kralovenec (Cos Cob, Conn.) scored once. The Beavers never led and were held scoreless over the final 37:49 of the contest after closing to within 3-2 late in the first half. Junior Julie Baharestani (Syosset, N.Y.) stopped 10 shots on the day, including a pair of free-position attempts.
Seniors Meghan Flanagan (Averill Park, N.Y.) and Allie Davis (Fairfield, Conn.), junior Kelly Gallo (Westfield, Mass.) and first-year Connie Nielsen (Sayville, N.Y.) all scored once for Springfield while junior Kerstin Lindrooth (Bryn Athyn, Pa.) tacked on an assist.
Dorsey got the Pride on the board 6:12 into the game and then scored her second goal of the game just over six minutes later as Springfield doubled its advantage with 17:22 left in the first half. The Pride pushed their lead to 3-0 just minutes later as Lindrooth picked up a groundball following a Babson turnover and fed Gallo for her only score of the game at the 13:33 mark.
The Beavers rebounded, though, as junior Misha Beatty (Westwood, Mass.) won the ensuing draw control and got on the board when Kralovenec converted a feed from Farina after a three and a half minute possession to cut the deficit to 3-1. Baharestani then made back-to-back saves on Dorsey and Flanagan setting up Farina's goal in transition from sophomore Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass.), bringing Babson within 3-2 with 7:49 left in the first half.
Nielsen pushed the Springfield advantage back to 4-2 on her tally just 1:55 into the second half before both defenses clamped down, holding each other scoreless over a stretch of 17:40. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game the Pride used a decisive three-goal run to take command for good. Flanagan, Davis and Dorsey each scored in a span of 3:58 to take a five-goal lead, which proved to be more than enough for Versprille, who made a couple of late saves to make the lead stand up.
Senior Jameson Spang (Kennebunk, Maine) picked up a game-high four groundballs while Beatty collected two draw controls to lead the Beavers. Lindrooth picked up three groundballs and Flanagan took game-high honors with four groundballs to lead the Pride, who held a 25-15 advantage in shots and won seven of the game's 12 draw controls.
This is the fifth straight season that Babson and Springfield have met in the NEWMAC Championship and no one other than the Beavers or Pride have won the conference title since 2004.