Babson Edges MIT, 1-0, To Clinch Third Seed In NEWMAC Tournament
Oct. 23, 2007
Courtesy Babson Sports Information
BABSON PARK, Mass. - Sophomore Kayla Pomponi scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute to lift the Babson College women's soccer team to a thrilling 1-0 victory over visiting MIT in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Tuesday afternoon. With the win, the Beavers finished the regular season with a record of 10-6-1 overall and 6-2-1 in the conference, and will enter this weekend's NEWMAC Tournament as the third seed. MIT, which fell to 11-5-0 overall and 6-3-0 in league play, will be seeded fourth.
Facing a fierce crosswind, both teams struggled to find scoring opportunities in the first half. MIT had the best chance of the period with just under two minutes remaining, but an open look by sophomore Liz Theurer from the 18 sailed just over the crossbar.
Babson nearly took the lead in the 52nd minute, but Engineers' junior goalie Stephanie Brenman made a magnificent save on a rocket off the foot of junior Shir Castel that was headed for the upper right corner. The Beavers then had another fantastic chance at the 64-minute mark when senior Callie Pilling collected a loose ball on the right side of the box and lofted a shot over Brenman, but the ball deflected off the far left post and back toward the goal mouth, where MIT's junior keeper covered it up.
MIT had its best opportunity of the day with 16:30 remaining in regulation, when Theurer broke in alone on first-year goalie Kristy Benoit. Theurer made a move to get past the charging rookie keeper, but Benoit's momentum took her into the MIT forward, resulting in a foul just outside the box. The ensuing free kick was deflected by a wall of Babson defenders, and Benoit successfully handled a follow-up shot by sophomore Katie Pesce.
Babson finally tallied the game-winner with under three minutes to play, as senior Leah Muzzioli played a ball into the box from 20 yards out. Pomponi corralled it and fired a shot to Brenman's right that was successfully blocked by a defender, but the rebound came right back to the sophomore forward, who hammered it in for the decisive goal. It was Pomponi's team-leading seventh score of the season.
MIT never threatened in the final two minutes, as Babson sophomore back Sam Bartman successfully headed away a potential breakaway pass in the closing moments. Benoit finished with two saves in the second half for the Beavers, while sophomore starter Sam Scarpato added two saves of her own in the opening period. Brenman went the distance in net for MIT, finishing with six saves.