Beavers Advance to Second Round for First Time Since 2016, Set Up Rematch with No. 2 Middlebury
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) and sophomore Millie Brady (Far Hills, N.J.) both scored in the third quarter as 14th-ranked Babson College defeated visiting Saint Joseph's College, 2-0, in in NCAA Tournament first round match on Wednesday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
Babson, which has won 14 of its last 15 games, improves to 19-4 overall and advances to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship for the first time since 2016. Saint Joseph's, which was making its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearances, sees its year come to a close at 18-4.
Junior goalkeeper Alexandria Simpson (Pascoag, R.I.) finished with three saves for the Monks, who were blanked by Babson for the second time this season.
Following a scoreless opening half, Brady put the Green and White in front with her eighth goal of the season just 2:46 into the third quarter. She faked a shot after receiving a pass from junior Maddy Paro (Manchester, Conn.) and took a touch before blasting a shot past Simpson and inside the right post for a 1-0 advantage.
Roche doubled the Beavers' lead with 11 seconds left in the third quarter, settling a lofted pass from Curley at the top of the crease and tipping her shot inside the right post for her 20th marker of the season. Saint Joseph's best chance to cut into their deficit came with just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Riley denied the initial blast by sophomore Emma Rutledge (Alfred, Maine) and first-year Sophia Jacques' (Peru, Maine) rebound attempt rolled through the crease untouched before being cleared out of danger.
Babson had a pair of corners and attempted the only shots in the first half as first-year Brianne McGrath (Newmarket, Ontario) missed wide just over 11 minutes into the first quarter, while Brady forced Simpson to make a kick save following a corner 4:29 into the second.
The Beavers outshot the Monks 6-4 and finished the game with a 3-2 edge in penalty corners.
Babson returns to action on Saturday when it travels to second-ranked Middlebury for a second round match at 11 a.m.
• The Beavers are 2-0 all-time against Saint Joseph's with both victories coming this season.
• Babson is 3-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament first round games.
• With Wednesday's tally, Roche is now tied for fifth in program history with 56 goals and is alone in fifth place with 127 career points.
• Riley now ranks fourth in program history in both wins (33) and shutouts (13).
• The Beavers' 19 wins are tied for second most in single-season program history.