NEWMAC Championship Preview: Women's Lacrosse vs. Springfield

NEWMAC Championship Preview: Women's Lacrosse vs. Springfield

NEWMAC Tournament Final
Women's Lacrosse vs. Springfield
Sunday, May 6—1 p.m.
MacDowell Field—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Springfield will meet for the 35th time on Sunday afternoon in a series that dates back to 1997. The Beavers are 17-17 all-time against the Pride and have won two straight matchups.

Babson and Springfield will meet for the eighth time in the NEWMAC Tournament championship game and for the 13th time overall in the conference playoffs. The Beavers are 7-5 in the postseason against the Pride with the teams having met in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

First-year Juliana McGuire had five goals and visiting Babson scored four times over the final 7:54 of regulation to rally for an 11-10 win over the Pride on March 31 in Springfield. Classmate Cricket Fligor made a career-high 11 saves for the Beavers, who took their first lead of the game with 2:06 remaining. Kristen Steidler and Amanda Nusbaum each scored three times for Springfield.

Senior Shelby Corsano tied the game late in regulation and scored her fifth goal of the game 61 seconds into overtime as the Pride defeated Babson, 10-9, on April 22, 2017, in Springfield. Classmate Ann Mahoney had four goals and Gabby Anderson made 11 saves in the win, while Francesca Giovanucci scored four times for the Beavers.

Third-seeded Springfield (14-5) extended its winning streak to nine and reached the conference title game for the fourth year in a row with a 14-11 win over second-seeded MIT on Saturday. Senior Shelby Corsano (58-21-79), the program's single-season leader in goals and points, ranks third in the league in scoring and is fourth with 92 draw controls. Classmate Kayla Schroeher (37-13-50) and first-year Kate Sarnacki (22-22-44) have combined for 59 goals, while senior Ann Mahoney (28-8-36) scored five times on Saturday and leads the team with 48 ground balls and 37 caused turnovers. Sophomore goalkeeper Brenna Keefe leads the NEWMAC in both goals against average (7.27) and save percentage (.523).

Top-seeded Babson (11-7) won its 11th straight semifinal and reached the NEWMAC championship game for the 11th time in 12 years by routing fifth-seeded Coast Guard, 17-1, on Saturday. Junior Lexi Lenaghan (58-31-89) ranks second in the conference in points, classmate Taylor Thorbahn (22-22-44) is tied for sixth in the league in assists, and senior Julia Harrigan (35-8-43) is fifth in the NEWMAC with a career-high 89 draw controls. First-year Sara O'Connor has contributed 32 draw controls, 23 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers, while junior Maria Bravo paces the defense with 43 ground balls and 20 caused turnovers. Fligor and has posted a 10.02 goals against average and a .338 save percentage while going 8-4 in 12 starts this spring.

Lenaghan, who is averaging 5.56 points per game, enters Sunday's contest just two points shy of Babson's single-season record of 91 set by Anna Collins '10 back in 2009. With two goals on Sunday, Lenaghan can also become the first player in program history to finish with more than 60 goals and 30 assists.

The Green and White has six players that have produced at least 30 points and its 13.72 goals per game is the program's best since 2012, when it scored 15.12 goals. Babson has averaged 17.00 goals in nine games against NEWMAC foes and registered at least 16 goals in 10 of its 11 wins overall this spring.

Going back to the 2014 NEWMAC final, five of the last seven games between the Beavers and Pride have been decided by two goals or less.