Babson poses with the NEWMAC Championship Trophy.
May 4, 2008
BABSON PARK, Mass. - The top-seeded Babson College women's lacrosse team claimed its second consecutive New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship with a dominating performance at MacDowell Field on Sunday afternoon, as the Beavers defeated third-seeded Wellesley College, 18-2, in the tournament finals. With the victory, Babson, ranked 10th in the nation by the IWLCA, improved to 15-2 overall and secured its second straight NCAA Division III Tournament berth.
Wellesley, meanwhile, saw its postseason run come to a close with a record of 10-8. The Blue were making their second straight NEWMAC Championship Game appearance after defeating sixth-seeded Smith and second-seeded Springfield earlier in the tourney.
Leading Babson's relentless attack on Sunday were senior tri-captain Anita Martignetti (Winchester, Mass.) and sophomore Anna Collins (Winchester, Mass.), who recorded seven points apiece in the victory. Martignetti scored five goals and assisted two others while also recording three draw controls, and Collins added six goals, one assist, and two caused turnovers. Junior Jackie Godfrey (Franklin, Mass.) was also stellar, finishing with three goals, two assists, and a game-high five draw controls, while sophomore Kaitlyn Pettengill (Hopkinton, Mass.) chipped in with two goals and two helpers. Junior Lindsay Bucci (Medford, Mass.) and senior Melissa Martin (Andover, Mass.) rounded out the Beavers' scoring with a goal apiece, with Bucci also dishing out an assist.
Overshadowed all season by Babson's high-powered offense, the Beavers' defensive unit was once again spectacular in the title game. Led by senior tri-captains Bethany Nardone (Duxbury, Mass.) and Brianne Carlson (Wolfeboro, N.H.), the backfield allowed just two goals on 12 total shots in the contest. When Wellesley did get a shot on net, Babson first-year goalie Sarah Macary (Woodbury, Conn.) proved nearly unbeatable, as she made eight saves, including four stops on free position attempts.
Coming off an emotional upset victory over second-seeded Springfield on Saturday, Wellesley struggled to mount any offense until the final five minutes of regulation. The Blue were led in defeat by sophomores Colette Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.) and Haley Geller (Berkeley, Calif.), who each netted a goal, and sophomore Alexis Fischer, to recorded a team-high three groundballs. Sophomore Loretta White (Northampton, Mass.) and first-year Nicole Labbee (Florence, Mass.) each contributed with a pair of caused turnovers, and junior Kristin Jaronczyk (Manhasset, N.Y.) turned away four shots in 40 minutes in net.
After getting off to a slow start in a 14-6 win over fifth-seeded MIT on Saturday, Babson exploded out of the gate in the championship game with a nearly perfect first half of lacrosse. Led by Collins, who scored five times in the opening session, and Godfrey, who struck three times, the Beavers rattled off 13 unanswered goals to take a commanding 13-0 lead at the break. The hosts continued their assault early in the second half, scoring four straight, including two by Martignetti and another by Collins, to go up 17-0. Geller and Whitaker would tally late goals for Wellesley, but it would not be enough to prevent the impressive 18-2 Babson victory.
The Beavers will now await the identity of their NCAA Tournament opponent with the field is announced later tonight. The selection show will be broadcasted live on CSTV beginning at 7:30 p.m.