By Matt Noonan
BABSON PARK, Mass. – The Babson College men’s lacrosse team punched its ticket to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship with a 10-6 victory over MIT on Wednesday evening in the rain.
“They’re a strong team,” said Babson’s Alex Packer, who finished the contest with three points on two helpers and one strike. “It was definitely a good win for us, we worked hard (this evening).”
Babson’s Matthew Logan and Alex Bunick netted two tallies, respectively, while Adam Daroff and Giles Ober combined for five stops.
Harris Stolzenberg, who leads the conference and MIT in goals (39), recorded three points on two assists and one strike, while Graham Francis netted two tallies, both coming in the second half. Eric Bartell, who leads the NEWMAC in saves (181), concluded the evening with 11 stops.
The Beavers earned a 2-0 lead thanks to back-to-back first quarter tallies from Spencer Low and Brendan Coan before MIT sliced the deficit with a marker from Luke Verdi. Babson responded at 4:25 in the second quarter with a Scott Doten strike, which provided the hosts with a 3-1 lead at the break.
MIT evened the score at 3-3 with early third quarter strikes from Graham Francis and Stolzenberg, but Babson answered with back-to-back goals by Logan and Packer that pushed the Beavers ahead 5-3.
Henry Merrow brought the Engineers within one with 13:24 remaining in the final session, but that’d be the closest MIT would get as Babson used a 4-0 run, sparked by Bunick that pushed the Beavers ahead for good.
“The looks were there and they were open, but we weren’t catching them in the first half, but the second half we really clicked back in and put them in the goal,” said Packer.
Babson outshot MIT, 41-21 and won the battle of groundballs, 45-39. The Engineers won 10 of 18 face-offs, highlighted by Britt Cyr, who led all players at X.
“We played reasonably well, but we just couldn’t make enough plays in the end,” said MIT head coach Walter Alessi. “(Our guys) played to their ability and even above, but (Babson) just made a few more plays… but the kids played hard right to the end.”
With the win, the Beavers will travel to Springfield on Saturday to face-off against the Pride in a Pilgrim League Championship rematch from last season.
“We’ve got to continue to fight and continue to claw and try to go for 60 minutes and give them every little bit that we have because if we don’t we won’t have another opportunity,” said Babson head coach Brendan Gorman.
Springfield 13, Clark 3: The Pride used a 6-0 run spanning the first and second quarters that helped Springfield overcome a 2-0 deficit and go onto defeat the Cougars in the NEWMAC semifinals.
Bryce Serriello led Springfield with four tallies, while Dylan Sheehan registered two goals and two assists. Connor Nash, who started the game in net, turned away seven of nine shots.
Clark’s Nick Johnson and John Goracy combined for three helpers and one tally in the setback.