Worcester, Mass. --- Hailey Taylor (Colusa, CA) notched a goal and an assist to lift host WPI to a 3-1 upset over regionally ranked Babson in the NEWMAC women's soccer finale for both teams on Tuesday evening. With the win, WPI improves its record to 8-10 overall and 4-5 in conference play. Babson dips to 11-7-1 on the season and 4-5 in NEWMAC action.
Taylor got WPI on the board 15 minutes into the match when she netted her first career goal on a direct kick from just over 30 yards out. The Engineers extended their lead to 2-0 when Kristen Garza (Kingston, MA) dribbled past the Babson defense and tucked the ball past the goalie with just over four minutes left before halftime. The goal was Garza's team-leading 13th of the year (second most in the NEWMAC) and the 38th of the junior's career.
The Crimson and Gray got a key insurance marker in the 77th minute. Taylor's corner kick deflected off the Babson goalkeeper and was headed into the net by senior Liz Tuite (Hopkinton, MA) for her second goal of the season. The Beavers got on the scoreboard in the 85th minute when Kristy Benoit (Shrewsbury, MA) knocked home her fourth goal of the fall on an assist from Amy Festa (Medfield, MA).
Babson, ranked sixth in the initial NCAA New England Division III rankings released last Wednesday had a 12-9 edge in shots and took six of the game's 10 corner kicks.
Rebecca Newman (Howell, NJ) picked up the win in net for WPI. The freshman recorded two saves en route to leveling her record this season at 7-7. Sarah Macary (Woodbury, CT) and Sam Scarpato (Weston, MA) each tallied a save for Babson with Macary playing the first 78:13 and Scarpato between the pipes for the final 11:47.
Both teams will open being NEWMAC Tournament play on Saturday with road matches. Sixth-seeded WPI will head to either to MIT or Springfield while seventh-seeded Babson travels to either Wheaton or Wellesley. Final brackets and game times will be announced by the NEWMAC on Wednesday.
Note: Press release courtesy of WPI Sports Information.