MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—Senior Julia Richards (Newtown Square, Pa.) socred the go-ahead goal with eight seconds left in the second quarter as second-ranked Middlebury College defeated 14th-ranked Babson College, 2-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at Kohn Field.
Babson, which dropped its first road game since late September, concludes the season at 19-5, while Middlebury improves to 18-1 with its 35th straight victory at home. The Panthers, who have won two consecutive Division III national titles will face either Kean or Endicott on Sunday.
Junior Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) finished with a goal and senior Marissa Baker (Darien, Conn.) added an assist for the Panthers. Sophomore goalkeeper Grace Harlan (Groton, Mass.) did not make a save in the contest.
Paro gave the Green and White a 1-0 advantage with her seventh goal of ht eyear just 6:56 into the match. A Middlebury defender swept away a pass into the circle but Paro tracked down the loose ball on the right wing and drilled a shot past Harlan.
The Panthers earned three straight penalty corners midway through the second quarter and tied the game on Nicholas' 11th goal of the year at the 24:36 mark. After dribbling her right she lifted a shot through traffic and inside the left post to make it 1-1.
The Beavers were unable to take advantage of their lone corner of the match late in the stanza, and Middlebury went in front on Richards' tally just before halftime. Baker dumped the ball into the crease and Richards tipped past Riley for her second goal of the year.
Riley smothered a shot in the crease by Nicholas with seven minutes to go and Nicholas sent the ensuing penalty stroke off the left post keeping Babson within one.
The Panthers finished with an 8-1 edge in shots and attempted three of the game's four corners.
• Six of nine all-time meetings between Babson and Middlebury have been decided by a single goal.
• Since the start of the 2017 campaign, the Beavers have gone 18-3 away from home with two of the loses coming at Middlebuy.
• Senior Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.), who was held without a goal for the first time in seven games on Saturday, will leave Babson tied for fourth all-time in goals (56) and fifth with 127 career points.
• Roche and senior classmates Cate Diamond (Hingham, Mass.), Carla DiBiase (Winchester, Mass.), Kate Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) and Haley Pesce (Roxbury, Conn.) won 72 games over their four years at Babson and will graduate as the winningest class in program history.
• The Beavers' 19 wins this season are tied for the second highest total in school history.