MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Castleton University fell behind early and could not put together enough offense for a rally, as Babson College defeated the Spartans, 17-4, Saturday afternoon in an NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament first round game at Kohn Field on the campus of Middlebury College.
With the loss, Castleton sees its season end with an 11-7 overall record. Babson improves to 13-7 and will face Middlebury College in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday, May 13, at 1 p.m. at Kohn Field.
Hannah Braman led Castleton with two goals, while Nadine Downing finished with one goal and one assist and Megan Wood dished out two assists. Emma Best also scored a goal for the Spartans, and Emily Cross picked up her 43rd assist of the season, setting a new Castleton single-season record. Samantha Hebb earned 10 saves during the afternoon, her third consecutive game with double-digit saves.
Babson jumped on the board 55 seconds into the match on a goal by Taylor Thorbahn, with Sarah McCarthy scoring 20 seconds later and Riley Buonagurio adding a goal of her own 41 seconds after that. Lexi Lenaghan, who had notched assists on two of the first three goals, scored four of Babson's next five goals to give the Beavers an 8-0 lead with 16:46 left in the first half.
Wood set up Best for Castleton's first goal of the match 43 seconds later, and then Braman scored her first goal of the afternoon of an assist by Downing to close the Spartan deficit to 8-2. Babson would respond with the final three goals of the first half, extending its lead to 11-2 at halftime.
Just over two minutes into the second half, Wood found Downing for the Spartans' third goal of the afternoon, but the Beavers answered back with goals by Olivia Martino and Juliana McGuire. After Braman earned her second goal of the game, Babson held Castleton scoreless in the final 20 minutes while collecting four more goals, the last two by Olivia Remley, to close out the contest.
Lenaghan led the Beavers with four goals and two assists, while Taylor Hermann finished with one goal and three assists. Cricket Fligor started in net for Babson and made one save in the first half before being replaced at the start of the second half by Olivia Phelan, who was credited with two saves.
Babson outshot Castleton, 35-9, thanks in large part to more possession time, as the Beavers won 17 draw controls while the Spartans won only six draw controls. The Beavers were 5-of-8 on free position attempts and 12-of-14 on clear chances, but the Spartans did not take a free position shot and were successful on only 10-of-25 clear opportunities.
The Castleton women's lacrosse team completed its final season as a member of the North Atlantic Conference, where the Spartans won eight league championships and 70 regular season and tournament conference matches without a loss. In total, 18 Castleton teams will move to the Little East Conference starting in the 2018-19 academic year.