SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Aided by a pair of second half goals, the Babson College women's soccer team held off a late rally by Mount Holyoke College for a 3-2 decision in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both teams. With the win, the Beavers extend their unbeaten streak to nine games, and are now 6-0-1. The homestanding Lyons, who saw goalie Mackenzie Randall stop 11 shots, slip to 3-4-0 overall.
Holding a 1-0 lead after the first half of action, Babson saw its advantage eliminated in the 50th minute as senior Cassidy Robinson (Lebanon, N.H./Lebanon) notched her sixth of the season.
After an initial shot by the Lyons was saved, Babson goalie Melina Kapotsis (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) lost the ball after falling backwards, which bounced off the chest of Robinson who had charged toward goal. Ducking around a second defender, Robinson was able to touch it into the right corner to tie it at 1-all.
The play remained even throughout the middle of the second half, but the pace picked up quickly over the final 10 minutes. Junior Meghan Tyson (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough), who tallied the game's first goal, posted her second of the contest after sending a long shot in from the right side. The ball sailed past a diving Randall (Harwinton, Conn./Forman), bounced off the left post and ricocheted back into the right corner of the net in the 82nd minute.
Less than three minutes later, first year Victoria Penta (Belmont, Mass./Buckingham, Browne & Nichols) pushed the Beavers' lead to two (3-1) on a nice individual effort. Carrying it in from the left side, Penta shot the ball through the legs of an MHC defender. The ball trickled through, but stopped, and Penta went around another defender to take the shot into the left corner.
Mount Holyoke refused to bow out and Robinson cut the deficit to one (3-2) in the 89th minute with her team-leading seventh goal of the season. On a clear attempt, Kapotsis threw the ball out to a defender, but Robinson intercepted it, sending a hard shot from the top of the box over the reach of the goalie and in.
The Lyons tried to gain possession in the final minute, but the Beavers held strong defensively to seal the victory.
Babson held a 27-5 advantage in shots for the contest and also dominated in corner kicks by a 12-0 margin.
Kapotsis improved to 6-0-1 on the season, making one save over 90 minutes player. Randall shouldered the loss, stopping an incredible 11 shots.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as Mount Holyoke travels to RPI for a 7:30pm match, while Babson hosts Endicott at 4:30pm.
Photo courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.