SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - A three-goal first half propelled the Babson College field hockey team past Mount Holyoke College, 3-1 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the second-ranked Beavers move to 10-1 on the season, remaining perfect in conference play with a 3-0 mark. The Lyons slip to 5-4 overall and are now 1-2 in the NEWMAC.
The Beavers came out strong in the opening half of action, netting their first tally just 2:48 into the contest. First year Maddy Paro (Manchester, Conn./Westminster School) started the play as she corraled the ball down the right side and fired the ball into the circle. Senior forward Jacki Merrigan (Canton, Mass./Canton) found the ball and chipped it to the right as sophomore forward Tori Roche (Andover, Mass./Andover) buried it in past the reach of Lyons keeper Morgan Turner (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham).
Babson made it a 2-0 advantage at the 9:04 mark after the duo of Paro and Merrigan once again struck for the visitors. Off a corner injection from Roche, the Beavers stopped the ball at the top of the arc as it landed on the stick of Merrigan. She made a quick pass left to Paro, who rocketed a shot straight through traffic and in.
Paro earned an assist of her own on the Beavers third tally after she sent a shot in on goal. The ball was redirected in past Turner off the stick of junior forward Catherine Gilman (Cohasset, Mass./Cohasset) for the 3-0 lead at 23:32.
In the second half of action, the Lyons offense came alive, outshooting the visitors by an 11-2 margin. MHC nearly got on the board around the 52st minute after junior midfielder and captain Colby Newsham (Harvard, Mass./Bromfield School) caught up to a pass from classmate Kristina Ramsden (Florence, Mass./Northampton), but a foul was called as the ball went into the cage to negate the goal.
Mount Holyoke also had another outstanding opportunity at the 51:00 mark as junior Mirjam Keochakian (Hamburg, Germany/Deerfield Academy) once again sent a bullet shot in on goal, but Beavers' keeper Deirdre Barry (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) was there with a perfectly timed kick-save to keep the home team off the scoreboard.
The Lyons finally broke through at 62:59 on a fantastic penalty corner play. Off an injection from Newsham, the ball went out to Keochakian, who settled the ball at the top of the circle and rifled a shot on goal. As it sailed in through traffic, it was redirected in on goal by senior captain Kathryn Rawson (Old Town, Maine/Old Town).
Mount Holyoke owned a 12-10 edge in shots for the contest, while also seeing a 9-5 advantage in corner attempts in the game. Barry earned her 10th win of the season, posting five saves - all of which came in the second half of action. For the Lyons, Turner shouldered the loss, also making five stops in the effort.
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday as Mount Holyoke hosts NEWMAC-foe Springfield (7pm), while Babson travels to conference-rival Wellesley (4pm).