SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- No. 2 Babson College opened the game on a 7-1 run and never trailed in a 14-5 victory over No. 6 Wellesley College lacrosse in the semifinals of the 2017 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday at Stagg Field at Springfield College.
Babson improves to 12-5 overall and advances to play tournament host and top-seeded Springfield College in the NEWMAC Championship game on Sunday, May 7, at 1:00 PM.
Junior Charlotte O'Halloran (Middletown, R.I.) scored four goals and added an assist to lead the Beavers, while classmate Julia Harrigan (Portsmouth, R.I.) and sophomores Taylor Thorbahn (Duxbury, Mass.) and Olivia McCahan (Providence, R.I.) each added a pair of goals. Seniors Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass.) and Katie McKenna (Sandwich, Mass.) each scored a goal and recorded an assist, while Giovanucci had a team-high four ground balls and five caused turnovers. Senior Emily Bresnahan (Wenham, Mass.) and first year Taylor Herrmann (Mahwah, N.J.) also scored for the Beavers. Senior Delaney Carroll (Acton, Mass.) added three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Senior Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) scored a pair of goals and added an assist, two caused turnovers and a ground ball to lead the Blue (9-8). Senior Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) and sophomores Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Calif.) and Olivia Strobl (Stafford, Va.) also netted goals for Wellesley. Senior Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) picked up a pair of ground balls and caused two turnovers, while junior Jenna Mulrenan (Glen Ridge, N.J.) had a team-high three caused turnovers for the Blue. Senior goalkeeper Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) made six saves.
Babson controlled play throughout the first half, forcing 11 Wellesley turnovers and holding the Blue to just one goal. Thornton scored the first goal of the game at 24:55, before Bresnahan and O'Halloran followed with goals at 21:25 and 18:55 to make the score 3-0 Babson. The early run forced a Wellesley timeout, but the Blue responded following the break. Peterson whipped a pass in front to Sharkin, who scored her team-leading 41st of the season. However, the Blue were unable to add to Sharkin's marker, as Babson closed out the half with back-to-back goals just 24 seconds apart to take a 5-1 lead into the half. Harrigan scored her first at 2:59, before O'Halloran added her second on an assist from Giovanucci at 2:35.
The Beavers opened the second half just as they finished the first, scoring two-straight goals to jump to a 7-1 advantage. McKenna scored right off the opening draw, making the score 6-1 at 29:30. O'Halloran then completed her hat trick with a free position shot following a Wellesley yellow card at 23:56. The Blue countered with two straight goals, as Sharkin set up Lemay at 23:07 before scoring her second of the game at 22:21. The Beavers cut the run at 21:46, capitalizing on a free position chance by Thorbahn and getting a goal just 25 seconds later from Giovanucci to make the score 9-3. Persky countered for the Blue, making the score 9-4 at 20:36, before Peterson dished out her second assist at 16:49, setting up Strobl to draw the Blue back within four, at 9-5.
Goals from McCahan, Harrigan, and Herrmann stretched the Babson lead to 12-5 over the next six minutes of play. O'Halloran then added her fourth at 1:28 and McCahan scored at 1:02 to cap the 14-5 Babson victory.
Wellesley ends the 2017 season, the second under the direction of Head Coach Lauren Schoenberger, with a 9-8 overall record.