Centennial Moments: The Spirit of '79

Centennial Moments: The Spirit of '79

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Just four years removed from nearly being dropped as a varsity sport, the 1979 Babson College men's lacrosse team made history by winning its first conference title and earning the only NCAA Tournament bid in program history.

The Beavers, who finished without a win in 1975, had recorded as many as five victories just once in 10 campaigns prior to head coach Rick McCarthy's second year at the helm in 1977. The Green and White went 7-4 that season and followed it up with a 10-2 mark in 1978 that set up the greatest season in school history a year later.

Led future Babson Hall of Famers Brian Lynch '79, Jay Conroy '81 and Chris Grant '81, the 1979 squad won its first 12 games of the regular season and claimed a Colonial Division championship in its first season as part of the league. Along the way, Babson defeated Boston State (now UMass Boston) for the first time and registered a 13-10 mid-April victory over Bowdoin, which was the top-ranked program in New England at the time.

The Beavers extended their winning streak to a program-record 17 games against Nichols before suffering a 13-10 loss to Tufts in the final game of the regular season. Despite the setback, the Green and White received a bid to the NCAA Division II-III Tournament and drew a first round matchup against powerful Maryland-Baltimore Country. Babson suffered a 22-7 loss to the Retrievers, who finished as the runner-up in 1979 before winning the 1980 national championship, to end the historic campaign at 12-2.

In addition to the program's longest winning streak and the highest win total in single-season history (12), Grant set season records for both assists (47) and points (61), while Ted Snyder '81 set another record with 42 goals. Grant's single-season assist mark has gone unchallenged over the last 40 years with no other Babson player recording more than 37 assists in a season. Snyder's 42 goals also remain the third highest single-season total.

Babson finished the season ranked 15th in the Division II-III poll.