Babson Park, Mass. - May 4, 2019 - For the first time since 2016, the Springfield College women's lacrosse team claimed the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, as the third-seeded Pride knocked off top-seeded Babson, 11-10, at MacDowell Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Pride pushed its win streak to 10 games, which is the longest such streak for the program since the 2015 season. The maroon and white improved to 13-6 overall after starting 3-6 on the year, and will now advance to play in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons. Springfield College will learn its fate on the national stage during the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, May 5 at 9:30 a.m.
For her efforts, sophomore attack Taylor Pichel (Hopkinton, Mass.) was recognized as the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player following a four-goal performance to help lead the Pride to victory. Classmate Kate Sarnacki (Granby, Mass.) led the maroon and white with six points on the afternoon including two goals and four assists, and pushed her season total to 90 points, which broke Shelby Corsano's record for points in a single season that was set in 2018.
This marks the fourth NEWMAC title for head coach Kristen Mullady in her time with Springfield College, as she also led the Pride to conference championships in 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Babson held a 29-26 advantage in shots over 60 minutes of play, as the Beavers also owned a 13-12 margin in ground balls. The green and white secured 15 draw controls compared to the Pride's eight, but was hampered by 14 turnovers, including eight of which were caused by the maroon and white.
In net, Brenna Keefe (Acton, Mass.) was sensational as she came up with 11 saves, which was a season-best mark for the junior. Gabby Fogg (Wells, Maine) led the Pride with two caused turnovers, as Taylor Kane (Woburn, Mass.) had five draw controls in the win.
After Babson scored first just 2:13 into the contest, Springfield College used four-consecutive goals to take a 4-1 lead over the Beavers with 13:18 on the clock. Fogg got the scoring started with an unassisted goal, before Pichel buried a feed from Sarnacki to give the Pride its first lead of the game. Just 1:44 later, Sarnacki scored her first of the game, a free-position goal at the 22:32 mark, before Katie Martel (Granby, Conn.) finished the run after finding the back of the net on a feed from Sarnacki.
Babson scored back-to-back goals just 1:04 apart to pull back to within one, but from there, Fogg scored a free-position chance with 9:20 remaining, Martel added her second of the contest with 5:54 on the clock, and Sarnacki buried her second of the contest to give the maroon and white a 7-3 lead at the halftime break.
Babson opened the second half with a strike just 18 seconds in, before Pichel registered her second of the game, unassisted, to make it 8-4. Babson then scored the next four goals of the contest to even the score at eight with 14:33 remaining, setting up a battle for the late stages of the contest.
Springfield College delivered the first blow with a goal at the 12:56 mark from Pichel, which was assisted by Sarnacki, before Babson found the back of the net just 44 seconds later on a free-position goal from Sara O'Connor (Marshfield, Mass.). Pichel notched her fourth of the game with 8:05 to go, unassisted, before Babson once again pulled even with 4:43 to play.
With under three minutes to go, Katie Stallone (Seaford, N.Y.) drew a foul inside the arch and converted her free-position chance to give Springfield College a one-goal advantage with 2:29 to play. Babson had the last possession of the game, but after receiving a free-position chance with 49 seconds left, Valerie Quinlan (Norwood, Mass.) committed a false start and gave possession back to the Pride.
From there, the maroon and white was able to maintain possession of the ball, resulting in a one-goal victory for Springfield College.
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