Springfield, Mass. - September 23, 2017 - Senior midfielder Danny Murphy (Old Saybrook, Conn.) found the back of the net just 9:55 into the second half, a goal that proved to be the difference, as the nationally-ranked Springfield College men's soccer team defeated Babson College, 1-0, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday afternoon at Brock-Affleck Field.
Springfield College, which was ranked No. 19 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Division III National Rankings, improved to 6-0 to start the year, marking the first time in the program's Division III history that the Pride has won six-consecutive games to begin the season. Springfield College also improved to 2-0 in the NEWMAC, while Babson fell to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in league play with the loss.
The Pride, which had not beaten Babson since 2003, dominated the possession game for a majority of the contest, as it outshot the Beavers, 24-5, including eight shots on goal to Babson's two. Springfield College was also awarded six corner kicks to Babson's four.
In net for Springfield, junior goalkeeper Stewart Frank (Pittsford, N.Y.) finished with a pair of saves in the win, both coming in the game's final minutes, as James Takami (Kenmore, Wash.) made seven stops in the defeat.
Springfield College applied the pressure early on in the contest, as it got off six shots in the first 18:28, two of which came from Murphy and were stopped by Takami to keep the Pride off the board. Later in the half, Springfield College looked to have a great chance to take a 1-0 lead as Jimmy Wilcox (Burlington, Conn.) sent in a corner, and Brendan Claflin (Burlington, Mass.) let a shot go but it was wide to send the game into the halftime break in a scoreless tie.
Just 9:55 into the second half of play, Keon Haji (Shrewsbury, Mass.) made a great play back to Murphy, who took one step to his left and fired a shot on goal which just snuck past the outstretched hands of Takami and into the right side of the net to give the Pride a 1-0 lead. With 23:40 to play in the game, the Pride had a quality chance to extend its lead to a pair when Murphy let another one fly from outside the box, which hit the right post, before Nick Fontana (Marshfield, Mass.) got the rebound and struck one just wide, keeping it a 1-0 game.
Babson's best chance of the second half came with less than four minutes to play, as Noah Parker (Hampden, Maine) sent in a corner which ended up on the foot of Ian Cicalis (East Falmouth, Mass.), who served a ball up to Alex Crompton (Killington, Vt.), before the sophomore got a head on it, but Frank came out of no where and caught the ball just before it crossed the goal mouth to keep the Beavers at bay.
Up next, Springfield College will return to Brock-Affleck Field on Tuesday, September 26 when it will host Wentworth at 4 p.m. in a non-conference match.