BABSON PARK, Mass. – Junior Federico Kelly (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) scored his eighth goal of the season in No. 3 seed Wheaton College's 2-1 loss to No. 2 seed Springfield College in the semifinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Saturday afternoon at Babson College's Hartwell-Rogers Field.
Wheaton entered the match having won five of its last six matches and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. Kelly broke down the right wing, cut it back inside, and fired a left-footed rocket inside the right post from 18 yards out for his eighth goal of the season at 26:25. Wheaton carried the lead into halftime, outshooting the Pride 7-5 through the first 45 minutes of action.
After nearly tying the game with a header off the crossbar by sophomore Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comp.) in the 60th minute, Springfield knotted the score when junior Danny Amato (Newington, Conn./Newington) scored his second of the year at 73:17. Freshman Kevin Nowak (Plainsboro, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro North) beat a defender down the right sideline and sent a low cross to the far side, where Amato came sliding in to deflect it just inside the left post to make it 1-1.
The Pride struck again a little more than five minutes later, as freshman Drew Sommer (West Chester, Pa.) netted his third goal of the season to give his team the lead for the first time in the contest. After gaining possession in the midfield, the freshman forward launched a shot into the upper right corner from 35 yards out at 78:31 to make it 2-1.
Wheaton had two chances to tie late in regulation, but the Springfield defense stymied the Lyons on both occasions. Junior Max Swanson (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) headed a shot toward the upper right corner off a cross with 3:30 remaining, but Pride freshman goalkeeper Brett Bascom (New London, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) made a diving save to his left to knock the ball beyond the post. Then with 40 seconds left, Lyons senior Conor Finn (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) hit a blast off a loose ball at the top of the box, but his bid was blocked by a Springfield defender and cleared to midfield.
Bascom finished with three saves in net for the Pride while freshman keeper Devin Delfino (Bourne, Mass./Bourne) turned away three shots in goal for Wheaton. Springfield outshot Wheaton 12-7 in the second half to finish with a 17-14 edge. The Lyons took 11 corner kicks and allowed Springfield just one.
Springfield (10-4-3) will now take on host Babson in Sunday's championship game at 1 p.m. The top-seeded Beavers advanced to the finals courtesy of a 2-1 victory over fifth-seeded MIT in Saturday's first semifinal matchup.
The Lyons finish the season 9-8-2.