Third-Seeded Women's Lacrosse Edges Second-Seeded Springfield, 9-7, In NEWMAC Semifinals

Third-Seeded Women's Lacrosse Edges Second-Seeded Springfield, 9-7, In NEWMAC Semifinals

NORTON, Mass.--Junior Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass.) had four goals and two assists helping third-seeded Babson College hold off second-seeded Springfield College, 9-7, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Nordin Field.
With the victory, Babson (6-10, 4-3 NEWMC) advances to the conference championship for the eighth straight season, while Springfield sees its season come to an end at 8-9.
First-year Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass.) netted two goals and had two groundballs and a game-high three caused turnovers for the Beavers. Sophomores Kayla Farina (Newton, Mass.), McKenzie Tucci (Winchester, Mass.) and freshman Kiley Fischer (Marblehead, Mass.) each scored once, while junior Ali Korinis (Ridgewood, N.J.) chipped in with three groundballs and two caused turnovers. Senior goalkeeper Julie Baharestani (Syosset, N.Y.) made two saves in the victory.
Junior Connie Nielson (Sayville, N.Y.) led the way for the Pride scoring three goals and assisting on three others. Classmate Emily Rodgers (Durham, N.H.) added two goals of her own, while Michelle Dorsey (Wilbraham, Mass.) and Emily Fowler (Branford, Conn.) each found the back of the net once. Senior goalkeeper Anne Versprille (Franklin, Mass.) finished the afternoon with five saves.
The Green and White never trailed on Saturday, building a 4-0 edge at the 15:50 mark of the first half. Farina scored the game's first goal just 5:55 into the opening period and Fischer set up Tucci to make it 2-0 with 22:23 to go in the stanza. Secrist struck for her first goal of the day with 16:33 to go and Giovannucci followed with her first marker just 43 seconds later to give the Beavers their biggest lead of the day.
The Pride netted their first goal of the game with a strike from Nielsen with 4:58 remaining in the opening stanza and less than two minutes later, Fowler converted a feed from Nielsen to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Babson upped its lead to 5-2 on Secrist's goal just 45 seconds after halftime, but Springfield responded with back-to-back tallies from Nielsen and Rodgers to pull within 5-4 with 26:01 left in the game. Giovannucci notched her second goal of the contest with 23:23 to go and Fischer converted a pass from first-year Katie McKenna (Sandwich, Mass.) less than a minute later to help the Beavers regain a 7-4 edge. 
Trailing 8-5, the Pride used consecutive scores by Rodgers and Dorsey, both of which were assisted by Nielsen, to pull within one at the 6:48 mark. Both teams turned the ball over on its next possession before Secrist struck for her fourth goal of the game to give Babson a 9-7 lead with 3:08 to go. The Beavers won the ensuing draw and worked nearly two minutes off the clock before Springfield regained possession.

The Green and White held a 19-13 edge in shots and a 13-8 advantage in groundballs while going a perfect 10-for-10 on clear opportunities. The teams combined for just one free-position goals in three chances and the Beavers had a slim 10-8 edge in draw controls. 

Babson will take on top-seeded Wheaton, who beat MIT 15-5 on Saturday, in the NEWMAC championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Game Notes: Babson is 14-14 all-time against Springfield and has won 11 of the last 15 meetings in the series since 2007...the Beavers are 6-4 against the Pride in the NEWMAC Tournament and have won eight consecutive conference semifinal games going back to 2007...Secrist has scored four goals or more eight times this season...the Beavers are 5-2 all-time in NEWMAC championship games, winning five consecutive titles from 2007-2011.

Head Coach Michelle Smith Rachel Secrist