BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Julia Harrigan (Portsmouth, R.I.) scored the go-ahead goal with 4:40 left in the second half as top-seeded Babson College defeated third-seeded Springfield College, 15-13, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament final at MacDowell Field on Sunday afternoon.
Babson, which captured its second consecutive conference title, improves to 12-7 and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in as many seasons. Springfield, which was making its fourth conference final appearance, falls to 14-6 on the year.
Harrigan, the tournament most outstanding play, finished wth three goals and five draw controls, while junior Lexi Lenaghan (Hanover, Mass.) had four goals and one assist to set a new single-season program points record. Frist-year Sara O'Connor (Marshfield, Mass.) also had three goals and classmate Cricket Fligor (Weston, Mass.) made a career-high 12 saves in the win.
Senior Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) had four goals and three assists to lead all players with seven points for the Pride. First-year Kate Sarnacki (Granby, Mass.) also had four goals, senior Shelby Corsano (Bourne, Mass.) scored twice and finished with a game-high seven draw controls, and sophomore Brenna Keefe (Acton, Mass.) turned away eight shots in defeat.
The Green and White trailed for just 51 seconds in the second half before first-year Sarah McCarthy (Hanover, Mass.) started a four-goal run to tie the game at 7-7. Lenaghan and Harrigan scored just 58 seconds apart and O'Connor completed her hat trick with 25:16 remaining to give the hosts a 10-7 advantage.
Springfield scored three of the next four goals, two of which came from Sarnacki, to pull within 11-10 at the 18:12 mark, but Fligor made three straight saves and Lenaghan buried a free-position chance to help the Beavers regain a two-goal edge with 11:44 to go. The Pride followed with back-to-back tallies from Mahoney and Kayla Schroeher (Riverhead, N.Y.) to pull even at 12-apiece with 6:13 left.
Fligor made another key save on the ensuing possession and after a successful clear Babson took advantage of a yellow card on Springfield as Harrigan scored twice in the span of 1:09 to take a 14-12 lead with 3:31 left. Harrigan also won the next draw and Lenaghan scored off a feed from first-year Georgia Salvatore (Westwood, Mass.) for a three-goal advantage with 2:19 left.
The Pride jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the game's first seven minutes and got consecutive tallies from Mahoney to match its biggest lead at 6-3 with 9:26 to go in the first half. The Beavers scored three straight goals to tie the game before Corsano scored 6.5 seconds before the break to go back in front 7-6.
Babson will find out where it is headed for the NCAA Tournament when the selections are announced on Sunday at 10 p.m. The selection show will be streamed live on NCAA.com.
• The Beavers, who have won three straight games in the series, are now 18-17 all-time against Springfield, which includes an 8-5 mark in the postseason.
• Lenaghan's 94 points surpassed the previous single-season mark of 91 set by Anna Collins '10 back in 2009. Additionally, she is the only player in program history to register at least 60 goals and 30 assists in the same season.
• Six of the last eight games between Babson and Springfield have been decided by two goals or less.
• Going back to 2011, the Beavers are just the second top-seeded team to win the NEWMAC Tournament joining Wheaton in 2014.