KEENE, N.H. - No. 16 ranked Babson College scored twice late in the first quarter and pulled away from there to beat the Keene State College field hockey team 6-1 Saturday at Owl Athletic Complex in the regular season finale for both teams.
- Keene State: 13-7
- No. 16 Babson: 17-3
How It Happened
The Beavers, who have won 12 straight entering the postseason and ensured their fourth consecutive unbeaten NEWMAC season, relied on their offensive duo of Lauren Curley and Tori Roche to beat the Owls in the first meeting between the two programs since 2001. Curley took six shots and scored three times, including a natural hat trick, while Roche scored twice on four shots.
Keene State goalkeeper Jordan LaRaus, one of five seniors honored prior to the game, got the start and made three stops in the opening 6:21 to keep Babson off the board, while Kayla Klein's shot in the fifth minute was stopped by Cassidy Riley. The visitors broke through following a corner that Curley started and eventually finished off a feed from Millie Brady at the 9:26 mark, and made their lead 2-0 with 1:05 left in the opening quarter when Curley scored again. The natural hat trick - three consecutive goals - came in the 27th minute as Maddy Paro assisted on Curley's third goal of the game and 19th of the season. That shot was Babson's only one of the second quarter, but they still led 3-0 at the break. KSC had a pair of chances to get on the board, but another shot by Klein was wide and McCall's following a corner was high.
The Owls never made much of a dent in the deficit in the second half, and the Beavers tacked on one more through Roche just over five minutes in. Riley denied Klein twice more late in the third quarter to keep it a 4-0 game, but Nina Bruno cashed in a short time later, her 19th in 2019, to make it a three-goal game at the 46:29 mark. Roche responded with her second of the day four minutes later as Babson scored twice in the final ten minutes to set the final margin.
LaRaus (2-1) stopped five shots, but took the loss. Riley made three saves in 55:37 improve to 17-3 for the Beavers.
- The only previous meeting between the two teams came in the quarterfinal round of the 2002 New England ECAC Tournament, a 2-1 Owls win Keene. The matchup also marked KSC's third against a nationally ranked opponent this season.
- Babson had a 16-8 edge in shots and 7-3 in penalty corners.
- Before the game, seniors Ally McCall, Erica Chareth, Kelsey Roberts, Hailey Beaupre, and LaRaus were honored for their contributions to the program.
- Keene State stays home as the No. 2 seed in the Little East Conference tournament and will host 7th-seeded Plymouth State University on Tuesday, November 5 at 6:30 pm. Worcester State University toppled Western Connecticut State University 3-1 in Danbury, Conn. earlier in the day to take the No. 1 seed, with the Colonials falling to the third spot. The University of Southern Maine knocked off Castleton University to clinch fourth, with the Spartans following as the No. 5 seed. KSC will be looking for a seventh straight LEC championship this week.
- Babson will match up with either Springfield College or Wellesley College in the NEWMAC semifinals on Thursday (November 7) at 3:30 pm.