Beavers' Clinch Top-Three Seed in Next Week's NEWMAC Tournament
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Olivia Kerester (Chappaqua, N.Y.) scored in the 56th minute to lift Babson College to a 1-0 win over visiting Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer action on Tuesday afternoon at Hartwell-Rogers Field.
Unbeaten over its last three matches, Babson concludes the regular season at 9-5-3 overall and 6-3-1 in conference play. The Beavers will host a NEWMAC Tournament quarterfinal next Tuesday. Wheaton, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, slips to 12-7-0 overall and 4-5-0 in league play.
Sophomore goalkeeper Maddison Gierschick (Hopkinton, Mass.) made five of her six saves in the second half for the Beavers, while her counterpart, Lyons' sophomore Leann Wolf (Santa Maria, Calif.), turned away four shots in defeat.
Wolf kept the game scoreless going to the half with a diving save on Babson junior Victoria Penta's (Belmont, Mass.) shot from point-blank range in the 25th minute. The Beavers broke the deadlock on the Kerester's sixth goal of the year just over 10 minutes after the break. A centering pass by sophomore Jessica Fernandes (Pawtucket, R.I.) from the top of the box deflected off a defender to Kerester, who took a touch and then beat Wolf, who came charging off her line, for the only goal of the match.
Gierschick, who dove to her right to deny a shot by sophomore Kaylee Sye (Acton, Mass.) in the 54th minute, came up with her best save of the game in the 82nd minute. Wheaton junior Megan Healy (Huntington, N.Y.) sent first-year Noelle Perciballi (Fort Salonga, N.Y.) in on goal with a thru ball only to see Gierschick make a sprawling save to deny her shot before reaching back to take the loose ball of Perciballi's foot to preserve the lead.
The Lyons held a slim 6-5 edge in shots on goal and attempted both of the game's corner kicks.
Babson host an opponent to be determined next Tuesday, while Wheaton hosts Smith in its regular-season finale on Saturday at 2 p.m.
• The Beavers have won back-to-back games against the Lyons for the first time since 1997 and are unbeaten in seven consecutive matches (2-0-5) against Wheaton.
• Kerester has scored four goals in Babson's last three games, including a pair of game-winning markers.
• The Beavers have outscored their opponents 16-5 after halftime this fall.
• Babson is 9-0-2 on the year when scoring the first goal of the match.