BABSON PARK, Mass.— Trailing by four late in the second half Wellesley College lacrosse scored three-unanswered goals, but couldn't come up with a fourth, falling just short of host Babson College, 9-8, in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference contest on Wednesday at McDowell Field.
With its fourth straight win, Babson is now 7-4 overall and 4-0 in conference play, while Wellesley snaps a three-game win streak to drop to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the NEWMAC.
Junior Charlotte O'Halloran (Middletown, R.I.) scored a hat trick and reached 100 career points to lead the Beavers. In all, six different players had a goal for the Beavers, who got six ground balls and five caused turnovers from senior Delaney Carroll (Acton, Mass.). Sophomore Lauren Drakeley (Woodbury, Mass.) added four caused turnovers and junior Julia Harrigan (Portsmouth, R.I.) finished with a team-high five draw controls.
Sophomore Olivia Strobol (Stafford, Va.) scored two goals and dished out two assists to lead the Blue. Senior Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) chipped in with a pair of goals, while classmate Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) turned away 12 shots in the loss. Junior Jenny Gubner (Pleaston, Calif.) added a goal and an assist, while seniors Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) and Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) and sophomores Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) and Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) also scored for the Blue.
O'Halloran scored twice in the first 90 seconds of the contest and notched her third goal of the game to give Babson a 4-2 lead with 6:55 to go in the opening half. Senior Katie McKenna (Sandwich, Mass.) extended the margin to 5-2 with her sixth tally of the year just 2:16 before the break, and the Beavers got goals from senior Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass.) and sophomores Taylor Thorbahn (Duxbury, Mass.) and Riley Bonagurio (Duxbury, Mass.) to build an 8-3 edge, their largest of the game, less than 10 minutes into the second half.
Engbretson and Peterson converted back-to-back free-position chances to cut the Wellesley deficit to 8-5 with 12:26 left. Babson junior Lyndsay Giroux (Westwood, Mass.) pushed the lead back to four with 8:43 remaining, but the Blue scored three times over the final 3:18 to pull within one on Sharkin's tally with 21 seconds to go. Wellesley forced a turnover after losing the ensuing draw, but was unable to get a potential game-tying shot off.
First-year Olivia Phelan (Wilton, Conn.) made three saves for Babson, which finished with a 32-13 edge in shots. The Beavers also held the edge in ground balls, 23-18, and draw controls, 10-9.
Both teams return to action on Saturday, April 15, as Wellesley will host Coast Guard for Senior Day at 1:00 PM and Babson will host Smith at 12:00 PM.