No. 1 Babson Holds Off No. 5 MIT, 2-1, To Advance To NEWMAC Championship Game

Freshman Nick Diamantoni
Freshman Nick Diamantoni

BABSON PARK, Mass. – Babson College advanced to the championship game of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Soccer Tournament for the sixth straight year, as the top-seeded Beavers defeated fifth-seeded MIT, 2-1, in the semifinal round at Babson's Hartwell-Rogers Field on Saturday morning. The Engineers, making their third semifinal appearance in four years, finished the year with a record of 9-8.

Babson (15-2-2) grabbed a 1-0 lead late in the first half, beginning when Eric Anderson headed a shot wide of right post off a corner kick from Salomon Guindi. Guindi then settled the ball on the right end line and fed it to Max Walker near the top of the box on the near side. Walker sent a pass across the goal mouth to the far post, where Anderson tucked it into the corner for his league-leading 11th goal of the season at 34:11.

The Beavers added a huge insurance goal 16 minutes into the second half, as Brenden Matthews sent a free kick into the box from 25 yards out. Bryan Rust then headed it past MIT freshman keeper Samuel Cannon (Scarsdale, N.Y.) for his second marker of the year at 60:42.

After struggling to generate opportunities for the first 81 minutes of play, MIT (9-8-0) came on strong late in regulation. The Engineers had back-to-back scoring chances in a 30-second span with eight minutes left, but the Babson defense came up with two huge plays to keep the visitors off the board. Goalie Peter Crowley made a nice leaping save on a free kick from just outside the box by senior Zach Kabelac (Potomac, Md.) at 81:37, and Clint Mason made a sliding stop on a shot by sophomore Matthew Monheit (Abington, Pa.) that got past Crowley at 82:01.

Those plays would prove critical moments later, as sophomore Tyler Singer-Clark (Falmouth, Mass.) took a cross from freshman Nick Diamantoni (Belle Mead, N.J.) and blasted a shot inside the right post for his first goal of the season at 84:14. The Engineers then had one final chance to tie it when a failed defensive clear left junior Ben Lewis (West Hartford, Conn.) wide open in the middle of the box, but his chip went just over the crossbar as the Beavers held on for the 2-1 victory.

For MIT, senior Dylan Rankin (Providence, R.I.) made two saves while playing the entire first half and the final 16 minutes of the second. For the Beavers, Crowley went the distance and made two stops to earn his Babson record 58th career victory.

Ranked second in the region and 12th in the nation by the NSCAA, Babson will now take on the winner of Saturday's second semifinal contest between No. 3 Wheaton College and No. 2 Springfield College. The championship game will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Release Courtesy of Babson College Sports Information