Blue Field Hockey Tops Babson; Advances to NEWMAC Finals

Blue Field Hockey Tops Babson; Advances to NEWMAC Finals

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The top-seeded Wellesley College field hockey team advanced to the finals of the 2013 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament with a 3-2 win over fourth-seeded Babson College on Saturday afternoon in Wellesley.

Wellesley (16-3) will take on the winner of the Mount Holyoke and MIT game tomorrow at 1:00pm. Babson sees its 2013 campaign come to an end at 11-9.

In a tightly played game, Wellesley ended with a slim 13-11 edge in shots and an 8-6 advantage in penalty corners. The win advances the Blue to the NEWMAC finals for the first time since the 2008 season. 

It was Babson that got on the board first, with the Beavers scoring just under seven minutes into play. After a shot from Caroline Malone that was saved by Wellesley, Julia Pochini collected the rebound and beat the keeper over the right pad for a 1-0 Babson advantage.

Wellesley evened the score at 1-1 in the 24th minute, with a similar goal. The Blue's Lallie Lukens collected a loose ball on the left side of the circle and sent a hard shot into the cage that was saved. Anissa Sridhar was at the post, however, tipping the rebound into the back of the cage for the equalizer.

The Blue took over the lead in the 28th minute on a penalty corner goal from Nathalie Gruet. The ball was sent in by Hannah Flesch, and Nikki Sharkin took a hard swing on it from the left side. Gruet was there to re-direct the shot, giving Wellesley a 2-1 lead.

At the break, Wellesley held a 6-4 edge in shots and a 4-1 edge in corners. Both goalies, Brit Mscisz for Wellesley, and Kayla Florence for Babson, accounted for a pair of saves. Wellesley was also aided by a defensive save from Caroline Guild

The Blue pushed their lead to 3-1 five minutes into the second half. A Sharkin shot after a corner was saved by Babson, but the ball bounced high in front of the keeper on the rebound. Wellesley's Gruet expertly tapped the ball into the back of the cage for the score and a two-goal advantage.

Babson turned up the pressure after the Wellesley goal, recording four shots and three corners that Wellesley fended off. The Beavers finally broke through in the 63rd minute, as Elizabeth Holmes made it a 3-2 game. Morgan Lockwood made a nice play on the ball, that was kicked away by Wellesley's Mscisz. Holmes collected the ball off the goalies pads and beat her to the right to cut the advantage to one goal with seven minutes to play.

In the remaining time, Babson thwarted a pair of Wellesley penalty corners, and had possession of the ball with about a minute to play. However, strong defense from the Blue squashed any attempt by Babson to create a corner opportunity, and Wellesley wrapped up the 3-2 victory.

Wellesley's Mscisz earned the victory in goal for the Blue, making five saves. Babson's Florence stopped six shots in the loss.

Post-Game Interviews