WELLESLEY, Mass. – Junior forward Jessica DiPhilippo (Falmouth, Mass.) broke a scoreless tie in the 62nd minute, leading the fifth-seeded Babson College over fourth-seeded Wellesley College, 1-0, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's soccer quarterfinal match on Tuesday afternoon.
The win advances Babson (10-4-4) to Saturday's semifinals, where they will face top-seeded MIT at 11:00am. Wellesley ends its season with a 9-8-4 overall mark.
Senior Mika Cucullo (South Salem, N.Y.) started the game-winning score, carrying the ball up the left side of the field and sending a great pass to DiPhilippo at the left side of the box. DiPhillipo volleyed the cross from the top of the six-yard box past Blue sophomore goalkeeper Kat Goldsmith and off the inside of the left post for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.
The game was close throughout, with Wellesley holding a 15-11 advantage in shots, and a slim 2-0 edge in corner kicks. Babson junior goalkeeper Melina Kapotsis (Watertown, Mass.) came up big, stopping eight shots, while Blue goalie Goldsmith also played well for the Blue, recording five saves.
In the first half, Wellesley compiled a 7-3 shots advantage, but Babson had an edge in the possession battle. The Blue had two good opportunities to score, the first coming in the 21st minute when a bullet of the foot of LJ Foster from 15-yards out that the Babson's Kapotsis saved with a dive. Wellesley also had a chance with 10 minutes remaining in the half, but an attempt from Kyla Petrie in front of the box went just high.
Babson's best first half chances came from first-years Olivia Kerester (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.). Kerester nearly scored in the 31st minute, when a cross was batted around in front of the box and her attempt went just over the net. Narlee's attempt came with 13 to play in the half, with her header being saved by Wellesley's Goldsmith.
In the second half, Babson turned up the pressure, recording five shots in the first 16 minutes, before connecting on the eventual game-winner. Wellesley had a great chance to tally the equalizer in the 74th-minute, but Francesca Lapsley's shot hit the crossbar and bounced over the goal.
After Lapsley's near miss, Wellesley fired a barrage of shots at the Babson goal in a two-minute stretch from the 75th to the 77th-minutes. Kapotsis batted each one away, however, keeping the game at 1-0.
The Beavers had a chance to make it 2-0 in the 82nd minute, but their penalty kick attempt sailed high. Wellesley threatened down the stretch, with the Blue's last shot, a Petrie attempt, went just wide of the goal.
Game Notes: Babson is now 17-18-7 all-time against Wellesley, but has gone 7-2-3 against the Blue since 2004...The Beavers have advanced in six of their nine NEWMAC Tournament matchups with Wellesley...The shutout was the ninth of the season for Babson, which is 9-1-4 on the year when allowing one goal or less to an opponent.
Note: Portions of this release courtesy of Wellesley College.