ONETONTA, N.Y.—Senior Witman Hernandez (Huntington, N.Y.) scored his second goal of the day in the 95th minute to lift No. 10/7 SUNY Oneonta to a 3-2 overtime victory over visiting Babson College in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Red Dragon Field.
Babson, which was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2016, ends the season at 14-6-2 overall. Oneonta, which won its fifth straight game to improve to 18-2-0 overall, advances to face No. 8/6 Messiah in Sunday's second round.
Sophomore Eamon Keenan (East Greenwich, R.I.) scored twice and senior Ben Holman (Ashland, Mass.) picked up a pair of assists for the Beavers. Senior goalkeeper Steven Heintzelman (Middleton, Mass.) set a new career high with 10 saves in the loss.
Sophomore Tristan Battistoni (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) had a goal, while junior Roberto Ventura (Brentwood, N.Y.), sophomore Jeremy Pantoni (Goshen, N.Y.) and first-year Ian Zinagro (Liverpool, N.Y.) each recorded an assist for the Red Dragons. Fellow rookie Nate Hanna (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) made one save in 73 minutes before being replaced by sophomore Francesco Scotti (Commack, N.Y.), who stopped two shots in 22 minutes relief.
Battistoni gave Oneonta a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when he ran onto Pantoni's chip over the defense just inside the top of the box and flicked over Heintzelman for his second goal of the season. Heintzelman made a brilliant save on junior Scott Cebollero's (Commack, N.Y.) free kick from the top of the box in the 38th minute, but was unable to deny Hernandez in the 47th minute as he finished off a pass from along the end line from Ventura to put the hosts up 2-0.
The Beavers cut their deficit in half in the 62nd minute when Keenan headed home a corner kick by Holman. The tandem struck again in the 69th minute as Keenan rose above a defender and got enough on his header to push it past Hanna for the equalizer.
Heintzelman made the save of the game when he denied senior Nick Dillmann (Fishkill, N.Y.) with ridiculous stop from close range after he worked through multiple defenders in the 67th minute.
Oneonta ended the match less than five minutes into overtime when Hernandez struck for his 25th marker of the year. Zingaro played a ball towards the top of the box that Hernandez was able to touch around Heintzelman before burying his finish.
The Red Dragons outshot Babson 27-13 and finished with a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.
• The Beavers are now 0-2-0 all-time against Oneonta.
• Babson was making its 26th appearance in the Division III Tournament and its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.
• Each of the Beavers' three postseason games were decided in extra time, and they finished the season with a 2-3-2 mark in overtime contests.
• Four of Babson's six losses this season came by a single goal.