Engineers Fall to Babson, 10-6, in NEWMAC Tournament Semifinals

Sophomore Graham Francis
Sophomore Graham Francis

BABSON PARK, Mass. – No. 2 seed Babson College rattled off four goals in a three-minute span during the fourth quarter en route to a 10-6 victory over No. 3 MIT in the semifinal round of the NEWMAC Men's Lacrosse Tournament on Wednesday night. Freshman Harris Stolzenberg (Weston, Fla.) tallied one goal, two assists, three groundballs, and two caused turnovers as the Engineers finished the season with a record of 9-8.

Sophomore Graham Francis (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) scored twice while classmate Luke Verdi (Middletown, Md.) generated one goal, one assist, three groundballs, and two caused turnovers. Freshmen Henry Merrow (Hopkinton, N.H.) and Michael Traub (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) both recorded a goal as sophomore Paul Orrson (Baltimore, Md.) earned an assist. Senior Britt Cyr (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 10-of-17 in faceoffs and collected six groundballs while classmates Tim Wilczynski (Old Lyme, Conn.) and Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.) registered five and four groundballs, respectively. Junior John Kramer (Glastonbury, Conn.) and freshman Zak Psaras (Monroe, Conn.) both notched three groundballs as sophomore goalie Eric Bartell (San Diego, Calif.) made 11 saves.

Babson posted two goals in the first quarter as Verdi ended the shutout midway through the second stanza. The Beavers found the back of the net three minutes later resulting in a 3-1 lead at halftime.

MIT battled back as it evened the score at three at the 10:34 mark of the third quarter. A solo effort by Francis cut the Engineers' deficit in half while Stolzenberg connected on a feed from Orrson for a man-up strike. Babson countered with two goals that came 32 seconds apart halfway through the frame.

A defensive battle ensued until Merrow broke through courtesy of a Stolzenberg pass that brought the visitors within one (5-4) with 13:24 left in the fourth quarter. Exactly 30 seconds later, the Beavers' mounted their game-changing run that put them up 9-4 at the 10:05 mark. Despite the deficit, MIT continued to attack as it generated back-to-back goals late in the period. Verdi found Francis for a man-up marker with 5:20 on the clock while Traub redirected a feed from Stolzenberg just over two minutes later. Babson then wrapped up the scoring with 47 seconds left to play.