BABSON PARK, Mass.—Fifth-seeded MIT scored a pair of first-half goals and got 19 saves from sophomore goalkeeper Grace Moore (Boston, Mass.) on its way to upsetting top-seeded and 13th-ranked Babson College, 2-1, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinal on Thursday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
With the win, MIT (11-7) advances to the conference tournament final for the third consecutive season. Babson, which had its eight-game winning streak snapped, drops to 15-4 and now must wait to see if it earns one of five at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament when the selections are announced on Sunday night.
First-year Lauren Curley (Stow, Mass.) scored the second game in a row, while sophomore Maddy Paro (Manchester, Conn.) picked up an assist for the Beavers. First-year goalkeeper Cassidy Riley (Catonsville, Md.) finished with five saves in the loss.
Junior Devon Goetz (Rockville, Md.) and sophomore Megan Flynn (Branchburg, N.J.) both scored for the Engineers, while first-year Emily Genevriere (San Jose, Calif.) recorded an assist in the victory.
Flynn broke the scoreless deadlock in the 19th minute when she poked home a loose ball in front of the cage for her first goal of the season. Goetz doubled MIT's advantage just over five minutes later when she lifted a feed from Genevriere over Riley and into the upper corner from the right side of the circle for her team-leading 15th marker of the year.
Moore kept the Engineers in front with eight saves over the final five minutes of the first half. The Green and White also missed on an opportunity to cut into its deficit when Paro sent a penalty stroke just wide with 4:51 left in the opening stanza.
Babson had a blast by senior Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.) called back in the 44th minute, and Moore made a series of back-to-back saves, first on junior Kate Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) in the 53rd minute and on Tango and senior Lauren Drakeley (Woodbury, Conn.) in the 57th minute to help MIT maintain a two-goal edge.
The Beavers finally broke through with 9:04 remaining in regulation as Curley took a long pass into the circle form Paro and lofted a shot over Moore to make it 2-1. Babson was unable to find a late equalizer though, as Moore made a great reaction save on Drakeley's redirection in the 64th minute and then followed it up with another kick save on Tango at the left post following a corner.
The Green and White finished with a 33-9 edge in shots and a 15-6 advantage in penalty corners.
MIT will take on either Springfield or Smith in Saturday's NEWMAC championship game.
• The Beavers are 28-17 all-time against MIT but just 2-7 in nine postseason matchups against the Engineers.
• Thursday's loss marked the first time this season that Babson trailed at halftime. The 2-0 deficit was also the largest the Green and White faced all year.
• The Beavers have lost just four times in their last 38 games against NEWMAC foes – two of them have come against MIT.