CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Two goals during the final 12 minutes of regulation helped lift MIT past Babson College, 4-2, in NEWMAC field hockey action on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Engineers (13-4, 6-2 NEWMAC) secured the No. 3 seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament while the Beavers (10-8, 5-3 NEWMAC) claimed the No. 4 spot. Both squads will host a quarterfinal game on Tuesday, Nov. 5 with opponents to be announced following the conclusion of the regular season.
MIT put the pressure on early, forcing senior goalie Kayla Florence (Milton, Mass.) to make three saves in the opening minutes. Babson responded with two shots on goal before senior Alex Cabreros (San Diego, Calif.) sent a pass from the near side that bounced off several sticks in the arc before classmate Julia Pochini (Acton, Mass.) tapped it in after 11:54 elapsed.
The Engineers responded with the equalizer almost six minutes later. During a scramble in front of the net, the ball was sent to the far side of the arc where it was corralled by junior Elizabeth Dethy (Morristown, N.J.) who put a shot back into the scrum that was redirected by classmate Caitlin Mackey (San Diego, Calif.) at the near post. MIT controlled the action down the stretch, generating seven penalty corners and six shots on net before going up 2-1 with 2:53 left in the half. Following a penalty corner, senior Michelle Teplensky (Somers, N.Y.) fired the ball towards the cage but it was lifted up by sophomore Morgan Gulliver's (Stamford, Conn.) stick. However, freshman Krishna Jaitly (Bethesda, Md.) batted the airborne ball into the top left corner of the goal.
The Cardinal and Gray carried the momentum into the second stanza but Babson fought off the hosts' attempts at gaining some breathing room. Sparked by a pair of penalty corners, the Beavers' offense found its rhythm as senior Morgan Lockwood (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and freshman Victoria Spofford (Merrimac, Mass.) made a pair of deep runs only to be thwarted by MIT's backline. Babson broke through in the 54th minute when sophomore Elizabeth Holmes (Southborough, Mass.) found junior Caroline Malone (Walpole, Mass.) in transition for the tying marker.
Despite the setback, the Engineers continued to attack and eventually took the lead for good at the 12:54 mark when senior Molly Duffy (New Providence, N.J.) tapped in the rebound of her previous shot. The game became a back-and-forth affair during the next few minutes as the Beavers' best opportunities were a Lockwood bid that was turned away by sophomore goalie Evie Kyritsis (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) and a penalty corner both occurring in the 61st minute. MIT kept Babson pinned in its defensive end for the remainder of the game, capping the scoring on another Mackey-Dethy connection with 36 seconds on the clock.
In net, Kyritsis made four saves for the Engineers while Florence amassed 18 saves for the Beavers.