BABSON PARK, Mass. – In a back-and-forth battle, host Babson College emerged with a 5-4 victory over MIT in the NEWMAC field hockey opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon. Junior Molly Duffy (New Providence, N.J.) registered a hat-trick while senior Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) added one goal and two assists for the Engineers (5-2, 0-1 NEWMAC).
Duffy opened up the scoring 1:25 into the contest when she took a pass from sophomore Elizabeth Dethy (Morristown, N.J.) following a penalty corner and deposited a shot inside the left post. Junior Morgan Lockwood (Feeding Hills, Mass.) evened the score just over six minutes later as her diving shot got past charging goalie Jenna Klein (Parma, Ohio.) and was followed by a strike from sophomore Caroline Malone (Walpole, Mass.) which put the Beavers ahead, 2-1, in the 12th minute.
The Engineers generated the next three shots but they were all off the mark as Babson controlled play during the remainder of the half. Klein turned away three shots while the defense thwarted five penalty corners helping the Cardinal and Gray stay close as the first half concluded.
The defensive battle ended five minutes into the second stanza courtesy of senior Kelly Walsh (Gardner, Mass.). McShane responded by setting up Duffy in the 44th minute and then buried a rebound off save to tie the score at three with just over 21 minutes left to play. Babson regained the lead in the 54th minute when Walsh tipped in a shot at the left post following a scramble in front of the net. However, it was shortlived as a turnover by the Beavers was brought up the field by McShane who found Duffy for her third tally of the day with 10:25 remaining.
Babson capitalized on Walsh's redirection to the right post which resulted in a 5-4 edge in the 63rd minute. MIT then put three shots on goal during the final three minutes of play but goalie Kayla Florence (Milton, Mass.) denied McShane with a pair of pad saves and made a sprawling stop on a bid by senior Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) with 47 seconds to go.
Klein finished the day with four saves while Florence produced all six of her saves in the second half. The Beavers recorded a 17-15 edge in shots and had a 9-3 advantage in penalty corners.
Following its five-game roadtrip, MIT returns to Cambridge for the first of four home games beginning with non-conference foe Nichols College on Wednesday, Sept. 19.