Soccer Blanks Babson, 2-0 in Regular Season Finale

Soccer Blanks Babson, 2-0 in Regular Season Finale

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Oct. 27, 2012) – The Mount Holyoke College soccer team celebrated Senior Day in style as two of its seniors scored goals for a 2-0 shutout over visiting Babson College in NEWMAC action on Saturday. The game was the conference regular season finale for both teams. With the win, the Lyons finish the season with a 3-12-2 record and a 2-7-0 mark in the league. The Beavers move to 8-8-2 with a 5-3-1 NEWMAC record.

The Lyons jumped out to the early lead as senior Mallory Phaneuf (Manchester, N.H./Trinity) connected off a feed from classmate Kiana Lussier (South Hadley, Mass./South Hadley) at 10:26. Splitting the Babson defense, Lussier made her way up the middle and chipped it up to Phaneuf, who raced around her own defender for a long shot into the lower right corner of the net.

Mount Holyoke's pair connected once again at 23:04 as Lussier headed a shot in off a perfectly placed ball from Phaneuf. Carrying it down the right side, Phaneuf lofted it into traffic, where Lussier jumped up for the header into the right corner (pictured on the left).

Babson, which led in shots by a 7-5 advantage, had its own chances in the half as many came in the final seven minutes. Senior Amy Festa (Medfield, Mass./Medfield)  had several of the best attempts, including  header in front of the net that ricocheted just wide and out.

Festa also sent a perfectly placed kick in front minutes later on a corner attempt, but junior Meghan Andrew (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) could not get it past MHC netminder Mackenzie Randall (Harwinton, Conn./Forman).

The second half of action saw each squad amp up its defense as neither side allowed a tally, but each team had its opportunities.  Babson's Festa had the visitors' best change right off the bat as she was awarded a penalty kick. Randall was up to the task, making a diving stop to the left to keep it locked at a 2-0 Mount Holyoke advantage.

The Lyons had their biggest attempt in the stanza at 55:30 as first year Ali Rossi's (New York, N.Y.) shot rang off the post and into the air. Sophomore Hannah Yee (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) was there for the rebound, but her shot was blocked in front. The ball carried out to the right side for Lussier, who got a piece of it, but the ball was again blocked by a Babson defender and out.

Babson continued to fight and nearly broke through at 86:01 as sophomore Jessica DiPhilippo's (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) shot rang off the crossbar and right onto the foot of senior Emily Anderson (Scituate, Mass./Scituate). She fired off a kick, but Randall made a heads-up play to punch it out of danger.

For the game, Babson held a slight 14-13 edge in shots, while also edging the Lyons in corner kicks, by a 6-4 margin.

Randall made seven saves for Mount Holyoke in victory, while sophomore Melina Kapotsis (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) stopped three shots in the loss.

The victory also marked the final career game for MHC seniors Phaneuf, Lussier, Veronica Farmer (Boxborough, Mass./Acton Boxborough Regional) and Dara Ereshena (Bell Canyon, Calif./Calabasas). All four were honored in a pre-game ceremony for their contributions to the Lyons' soccer program.

Mount Holyoke concluded its season with the win, while Babson will play in the opening round of the NEWMAC Tournament on Tuesday.