The Beavers are Headed Back to the NCAA Tournament for the First Time Since 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Senior Emily Bresnahan (Wenham, Mass.) led all players with four goals and junior Charlotte O'Halloran (Middletown, R.I.) dished out three assists as second-seeded Babson College defeated top-seeded Springfield College, 12-5, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship game on Sunday afternoon at Stagg Field.
Babson (13-5), which avenged its only conference loss of the regular season, captured its first NEWMAC Tournament title since 2011 and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Springfield, which was playing in its third straight championship game, likely closes its season at 13-5.
O'Halloran was selected as the NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, while Bresnahan and senior Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass.) both surpassed 100 career points in the win. Giovanucci, junior Lyndsay Giroux (Westwood, Mass.) and first-year Taylor Hermmann (Mahwah, N.J.) all scored twice for the Beavers. Sophomore Lauren Drakeley (Woodbury, Conn.) led all players with four ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Junior Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) scored twice and added four draw controls for the Pride, which was held to just nine shots on goal by a suffocating Babson defense.
The Green and White built an early 2-0 lead behind goals from junior Julia Harrigan (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Bresnahan. Springfield pulled even on free-position tallies by junior Kayla Schroeher (Riverhead, N.Y.) and Mahoney with 12:18 to go in the opening half, but the Beavers followed with a five-goal run to seize command of the game.
Tallies by Giovanucci and Herrmann made it 4-2 with 7:59 to go until halftime, and Giroux produced two of the next three goals, both of which were assisted by O'Halloran, to push the margin to 7-2 just over two minutes into the second half. Junior Kristen Steidler (Somers, Conn.) pulled Springfield within four at the 25:25 mark, but Babson responded with another five-goal burst to put the game out of reach.
Sophomore Taylor Thorbahn (Duxbury, Mass.) made it 8-3 with 22:49 remaining and Bresnahan and Herrmann combined for three goals in the span of 55 seconds to extend the lead to 11-3 with 13:47 left. Giovanucci notched the 100th point of her career to give the Beavers a 12-3 lead, their largest of the game, with 10:53 to go.
Senior Stevie Burger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) made four saves for Babson, while senior Gabby Anderson (Mahopac, N.Y.) turned away eight shots for the Pride.
The Beavers held a 26-20 edge in shots and a 22-10 advantage in ground balls while forcing 10 of Springfield's 18 turnovers in the first half.
Babson will find out who it will face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when the field is announced on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Watch the selection show live on NCAA.com.
• The Beavers, who were playing in their 10th NEWMAC Tournament championship game in the last 11 years, have now won six conference titles.
• Babson is 16-17 all-time against Springfield, which includes a 7-5 mark in postseason play.
• O'Halloran finished the tournament with four goals and four assists for eight points, and has produced seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in four conference playoff games over the last two years.
• Bresnahan, who has 80 goals, 22 assists and 102 points in just 34 career games at Babson, Giovanucci and O'Halloran have all surpassed 100 points this spring.
• The Beavers are 18-2 over the last two seasons against NEWMAC opponents.