Lyons capture third conference championship in program history, first since 2004
NORTON, Mass. – First-seeded Wheaton College claimed its third New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament championship in program history on Sunday afternoon at Nordin Field as the Lyons defeated Babson College, 8-5.
With the win, Wheaton (13-6, 7-0 NEWMAC) has earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament and now awaits its seeding fate on Sunday, May 4 when the NCAA Selection Show airs at 9:30 p.m. (EST). Babson, who made its eighth-straight appearance in the NEWMAC Championship game today, sees its season come to a close at 6-11 overall.
Wheaton sophomore attack Brooke Sabol (Landgrove, Vt./Burr & Burton Academy) was named the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the NEWMAC Tournament as she compiled three goals, two assists, nine ground balls, 12 draw controls and three caused turnovers in two games played. In the championship game alone, Sabol netted one goal, dished out two assists, scooped up four ground balls, won nine draw controls – including seven-straight to begin the contest – and caused two turnovers.
The Lyons' offense was led by Jenna Tewksbury (Concord, N.H./Concord) for the second-straight contest as the sophomore attack registered her second consecutive hat-trick of the NEWMAC Tournament alongside one assist and a ground ball.
Senior Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick), sophomores Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) and Madison Cohen (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) and freshman Angela Mallis (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) also added solo tallies in the victory. Sophomore Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) helped facilitate the offense with two helpers.
Babson received single markers from junior Rachel Secrist (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy), sophomore McKenzie Tucci (Winchester, Mass./Winchester), freshman Francesca Giovanucci (Easton, Mass./Southfield School), senior Misha Beatty (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) and freshman Katie McKenna (Sandwich, Mass./Sandwich). Sophomore Kayla Farina (Newton, Mass./Newton North) dished out two assists, while freshman Kiley Fischer (Marblehead, Mass./Marblehead) had one.
Wheaton junior goalkeeper Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) made two saves to push her record to 13-6 on the season (35th career victory, 2nd all-time). Babson senior Julie Baharestani (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) stopped six shots in the loss.
Both teams exchanged a pair of goals midway through the first half as the score became deadlocked at 2-2 following Sabol's only marker of the contest with 8:45 remaining in the stanza.
Giovanucci gave the Beavers a 3-2 advantage with 6:36 to play finishing a nice feed from Farina, but Tewksbury and Cohen buried back-to-back free position attempts for the Lyons at 5:48 and 3:46, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead headed into the break.
In the second half, Tewksbury factored into two out of three of Wheaton's goals to begin the final session as she rifled a feed from Sabol, who was positioned behind the right side of the cage, into the upper half of the net for her 28th marker of the season. Tewksbury then returned the favor at the 18:33 mark finding Mills in the slot for a 6-3 differential on the scoreboard.
Mallis capped the 5-0 run which spanned 19:14 from the 5:48 mark of the first half into the second stanza with a one-timer strike from Bush directly in front of the net (16:34).
McKenna cut into the deficit with 10:37 remaining with her eighth goal of the season, but Sharick and Bush connected for a goal with 3:23 on the clock to help seal the victory.
Secrist capped the scoring with 28-seconds to play on a free position attempt from the left wing.
Babson converted 18-of-24 clear attempts, collected 21 ground balls and went 2-for-3 on free position attempts. Wheaton was 17-for-24 in clears, scooped up 20 ground balls and won the draw controls matchup, 12-3.
The Lyons will enter the NCAA Tournament one victory shy of tying the second highest wins total in a single season set in 2012 (14-6).