By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
BABSON PARK – Clark University sophomore Brandon King has been a tough match-up this season for his team’s opponents, according to his head coach Jeff Cohen.
And against Babson College (6-7, 2-3) on Saturday, King continued his impressive play, netting five goals, including four in the second half, which helped the Cougars (11-3, 5-0) claim an important 14-9 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory.
“In league (play), he is a tough match-up,” Cohen said of King following his team’s 11th win of the season. “He’s a tough match-up.”
King, who deposited his team’s initial goal of the contest, appeared unstoppable in the second half, netting a pair of goals in the third and fourth quarter, including a diving strike late in the final session, which was set-up by junior Will Mandracchia.
King’s final goal sewed-up an impressive victory for the Cougars, who snapped a 20-game losing streak to the Beavers, dating back to their initial meeting in 1994.
Babson and Clark swapped goals throughout the opening two stanzas with neither team pushing ahead by more than one or two goals. And despite a one-goal (7-6) lead at the break by Clark, the trend continued for a majority of the third quarter before senior Isaac Bass jumpstarted a three-goal run that helped the visitors push ahead for good.
Clark would tack on three more goals in the fourth, while Babson deposited just one strike during the final 10 minutes.
“I thought we really started clicking and things were going our way in the third,” said Cohen. “I thought early on, maybe nerves, maybe teams playing each other out, but the second half saw (the game) get more competitive and we were fortunate enough that the ball bounced our way at times.”
The win extends Clark’s current winning-streak to six games, which dates back a late March victory over Plymouth State. It also keeps the Cougars atop of the NEWMAC standings with two games remaining.
Clark, which returns home for its final two contests of the regular season, will host Springfield College on Wednesday (Apr. 26th) and Emerson College on Saturday (Apr. 29th).
Springfield trails Clark by half a game for the top spot. This afternoon, they scored a hard-fought 7-6 win over Wheaton College.
Cohen, who is in his eighth season with the Cougars, credits his senior class for the position the Cougars are currently in. A win over the Pride would most likely provide Clark with the top-seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament.
“We’re fortunate the ball is bouncing our way, but we give credit to the seniors, they’re working their tails off,” said Cohen. “They’re an extremely dedicated group and all I do is ask more of them, so I am glad things are working out and good things are happening for them.”