BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore forward Caroline Malone (Walpole, Mass.) scored twice and first-year forward Melanie Jordan (Westford, Mass.) chipped in with a goal and an assist as Babson College used four second half tallies to push past Mount Holyoke College 4-1 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Contest (NEWMAC) field hockey action on Saturday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
Junior Soozin Kang (Bordentown, N.J.) added her third goal of the season and senior Kelly Walsh (Gardner, Mass.) and first-year Elizabeth Holmes (Southborough, Mass.) each tacked on an assist for the Beavers, who finished NEWMAC play undefeated for the third time since 2007. With its fourth consecutive win Babson moved to 14-4 overall and 8-0 in conference play while Mount Holyoke dropped to 7-9 overall and 2-6 in the NEWMAC.
After a scoreless first half Malone got Babson on the board just 2:20 into the second half with her 16th goal of the season. Following a turnover just inside midfield, junior Julia Pochini (Acton, Mass.) carried the ball into the offensive zone and fed Jordan, who slid a pass to her left where Malone knocked home a shot inside the right post to go ahead 1-0.
Jordan extended the Beavers' lead just over three and a half minutes later when she deposited a feed from Walsh inside the near post for a 2-0 lead at the 40:35 mark. Kang pushed the advantage to 3-0 at 47:43 when she tipped home a pass from Holmes following a scramble in front for her third goal of the season.
Mount Holyoke cut into the lead at the 53:08 mark when sophomore forward Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn.) ripped a blast from just the top of the arc off a penalty corner insert from Angelica Pascual (Lawrence, Mass.) for her 14th goal of the season. Just 2:36 later though, Malone put the game away for good with her second goal of the day, tipping home a pass from Pochini for a 4-1 advantage.
The Beavers were fortunate to get to halftime with the game scoreless after Mount Holyoke held an 11-1 advantage in shots earned nine penalty corners in the opening 35 minutes. The Lyons dominated possession and Babson junior goalkeeper Kayla Florence (Milton, Mass.) twice had to make pad saves to keep the game scoreless, both times denying Kilburn on blasts from just inside the top of the arc. Kilburn led the Lyons with five first half shots, while first year midfielder Sarah LaQuerre (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) chipped in with two shots.
Florence finished with six saves in 62:27, while first-year Kayla Costa (Watertown, Mass.) made one save over the final 7:33 for Babson, while sophomore Emma Ross (Glenshaw, Pa.) made three stops in relief of starter Anne O'Byrne (Newbury, N.H.) who didn't make a save in the first 47:43 for the Lyons.
Mount Holyoke held a 14-11 advantage in shots and a 12-5 bulge in penalty corners on the afternoon.
Babson will be the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament and will host the semifinals and championship game in Babson Park next Saturday and Sunday. The Beavers will play the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal between fourth-seeded Springfield and fifth-seeded Clark in Saturday's first semifinal at 12:00p.m. Sixth-seeded Mount Holyoke will travel to third-seeded Wellesley College on Tuesday afternoon.
Photo of Kirsten Kilburn courtesy of Richard Orr Sports Photography.