Pride Halts Beavers' 14-Game Conference Winning Streak
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Katie Stallone (Seaford, N.Y.) converted a free-position opportunity with 2:29 remaining to lift third-seeded Springfield College to an 11-10 win over top-seeded Babson College in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament final on Saturday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
Babson, which came in to the day seeking its third straight title, falls to 13-6 on the year and now must wait until Sunday night to see if receives an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Winners of its last 10 games, Springfield (13-6) captured its first NEWMAC tournament crown since 2016.
Sophomore Georgia Salvatore (Westwood, Mass.) scored three times and senior Lexi Lenaghan (Hanover, Mass.) finished with two goals, two assists and a season-high five draw controls for the Beavers. Classmate Riley Buonagurio (Duxbury, Mass.) and sophomore Sara O'Connor (Marshfield, Mass.) both scored twice, classmate Isabelle Lent (Madison, Conn.) contributed four ground balls and two caused turnovers, and fellow sophomore Cricket Fligor (Weston, Mass.) finished with 10 saves in the loss.
Sophomore Taylor Pichel (Hopkinton, Mass.), who was selected as the NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, led all players with four goals, while classmate Katie Sarnacki (Granby, Mass.) contributed two goals and a game-high four assists to become the Pride's single-season points leader. Senior Taylor Kane (Woburn, Mass.) won five draws, sophomore Gabby Fogg (Wells, Maine) chipped in with two goals and two caused turnovers, and junior Brenna Keefe (Acton, Mass.) made 11 saves in the win.
Salvatore gave the Green and White a 1-0 lead just over two minutes in before Springfield rattled off four straight goals to go in front 4-1 on Martel's first tally with 13:18 to go in the opening half. O'Connor and Salvatore scored 64 seconds apart to pull Babson within 4-3 at the 10:14 mark, but Fogg and Sarnacki converted free-position chances, while Martel put away a feed from Sarancki to extend the Pride lead back to 7-3 at halftime.
Lenaghan got on the board with a free-position mark 18 seconds into the second half, and the Beavers scored four times in the span of eight minutes to pull even at 8-8 with 14:33 to go. First-year Coco Creedon (McKinney, Texas) got the run started at the 22:25 mark, Buonagurio scored two in a row, and Lenaghan converted a feed from junior Valerie Quinlan (Norwood, Mass.) to tie it up.
Pichel twice gave Springfield the lead over the final 13 minutes only to see Babson pull even, first on a tally by O'Connor with 12:12 to play and again at 10-10 on Salvatore's goal with 4:43 left. Keefe stuffed Lenaghan on the ensuing possession and Stallone squeezed her free-position shot past Fligor for the eventual game winner with 2:29 remaining.
The Beavers turned the ball over on their next possession, but senior Maired Williams (Hingham, Mass.) intercepted a pass to give the hosts one final chance to force overtime. Babson was successful on the clear but turned the ball over again after earning a free-position chance, which allowed the Pride to run out the clock.
• The Beavers are now 19-18 all-time against Springfield and is 8-6 versus the Pride in the postseason.
• Saturday's game marked the fourth straight year and ninth time in 11 seasons that Babson and Springfield have met in the NEWMAC championship game.
• Fligor has made 10 or more saves eight times in her career, which includes all four games over the last two seasons against the Pride.
• Seven of the last 10 games between Babson and Springfield have been decided by two goals or less.