SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Junior Charlotte O'Halloran (Middletown, R.I.) led all players with four goals as second-seeded Babson College defeated sixth-seeded Wellesley College, 14-5, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Stagg Field.
With the win, Babson (12-5) advances to the conference tournament final for the 10th time in 11 seasons, while Wellesley closes its season at 9-8.
Junior Julia Harrigan (Portsmouth, R.I.) and sophomores Taylor Thorbahn (Duxbury, Mass.) and Olivia McCahan (Providence, R.I.) all scored twice for the Beavers, while senior Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass.) led all players with four ground balls and four caused turnovers. Classmate Delaney Carroll (Acton, Mass.) contributed three ground balls and three caused turnovers, and fellow senior Stevie Burger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) made five saves in the win.
Senior Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) finished with two goals and two caused turnovers for the Blue. Classmate Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) turned away six shots in the loss.
The Green and White controlled play throughout the first half, forcing 11 Wellesley turnovers and holding the Blue to just one goal. O'Halloran buried a free-position shot to give Babson a 3-1 lead at the 18:55 mark and then followed a tally by Harrigan with her second marker of the half to make it 5-1 at the break.
Senior Katie McKenna (Sandwich, Mass.) and O'Halloran both converted free-position chances early in the second period to push the lead to 7-1 with 23:56 remaining. Wellesley trimmed its deficit to 7-3 less than two minutes later, but the Beavers responded with tallies by Thorbahn and Giovanucci just 25 seconds apart to regain a 9-3 advantage.
Sophomores Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Olivia Strobol (Stafford, Va.) got the Blue back within four with 16:49 to go, but the Green and White responded with five unanswered goals over the last 13 minutes for the final margin.
The Beavers finished with the edge in shots (25-15), ground balls (16-11) and draw controls (11-9), and were successful on 15-of-17 clearing opportunities.
Babson will face Springfield in the NEWMAC Tournament championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
• The Beavers are 20-21 all-time against Wellesley, which includes a 5-2 mark in the conference playoffs.
• Babson has now won 10 straight NEWMAC Tournament semifinal contests going back to 2006.
• Giovanucci, who has 15 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers in five career conference tournament games, is now just two point shy of 100 for her career.
• O'Halloran, who became the program's single-season assist leader in the regular season finale last Saturday, has produced seven goals and six assists for 13 points over her last three NEWMAC Tournament outings.