Courtesy of Babson College Sports Information
BABSON PARK, Mass. – The top-seeded Babson College Beavers erupted for six goals en route to a dominating 6-1 victory over second-seeded MIT Engineers in the championship game of the 2010 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Field Hockey Tournament at Babson's MacDowell Field on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Babson (15-5) clinched its first-ever NEWMAC Championship and the program's second bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
One day after scoring the game-winning goal in her team's 1-0 semifinal win over Springfield, Babson senior co-captain Sarah Fredlund added one goal and two assists in the title game to earn Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. First-year Morgan Lockwood and sophomore Kelly Walsh each added two goals in the win, senior co-captain Colleen Kelly chipped in with one goal and one assist, and junior goalie Jess Pashos finished another outstanding performance in net with five saves.
Sophomore Molly McShane scored the lone goal for MIT (15-4), while senior goalie Keri Dixon turned away three shots in net. Ranked second in New England East behind Babson coming into the day, the Engineers remain in contention for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the field is announced at 9 a.m. on Monday morning.
MIT looked strong early on, putting up two quick shots in the first five minutes, including a bid by junior Kameron Klauber that was saved by Pashos just under two minutes in. However, the momentum shifted dramatically moments later, when Lockwood tipped a drive from the top of the circle by Kelly inside the right post on a penalty corner at 6:14.
Armed with a 1-0 advantage, the Beavers pressed their attack with three more penalty corners over the next five minutes, with the third resulting in their second goal of the day. Fredlund inserted the ball to junior Anneliese Brosch at the top of the circle, where she stopped it for Kelly. The Beavers' senior co-captain then flicked a shot off a defender's stick and into the lower right corner to make it 2-0 at 11:19.
Babson threatened to add to its lead over the remainder of the first half, but the MIT defense blocked a pair of hard shots and Dixon saved another. However, there would be no stopping the Beavers' high-powered offense in the second half, as the hosts came out with three unanswered goals in the first 13 minutes of action. Lockwood converted a perfect cross from Fredlund to make it 3-0 at 36:23, Walsh netted her first of the day off a failed clear in front of the cage to push the lead to 4-0 at 44:13, and Fredlund tucked a rebound of Lockwood's shot inside the left post to make it 5-0 at 48:11.
McShane finally put her team on the board with a one-timer off a cross from the right side at 50:43, but that would be all Pashos and the Babson defense would allow the rest of the way. Walsh netted her second goal of the game off another Lockwood rebound at 63:31, capping off the Beavers' impressive 6-1 victory.
Making its fourth appearance in the conference championship game, Babson claimed the first league title in its 28-year history, avenging one-goal losses in the finals in 1993, 1994, and 2005. The resulting NCAA Tournament appearance will be the Beavers' second, with the first coming via an at-large selection in 2005.