Acquista Shines as Field Hockey Blanked by No. 3 Babson in NEWMAC Semifinals

Nini Acquista - WPI Field Hockey 2021

Babson Park, MA --- Junior Brianne McGrath (Newmarket, Ontario) recorded her first career hat trick as top-seeded Babson defeated fifth-seeded WPI, 5-0, in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal on Thursday night at MacDowell Field.

With its 15th straight win, the third-ranked Beavers improve to 19-1 overall and advance to the conference tournament final for the third time since 2016. WPI, which was making its second consecutive NEWMAC semifinal appearance, sees its season come to an end at 11-7 under first year head coach Kim Cosenza

Senior Millie Brady (Far Hills, NJ) finished with a goal and an assist, classmate Lauren Curley (Stow, MA) scored once and fellow senior Quinn Greer (Providence, RI) chipped in with an assist for the Beavers. Senior goalkeeper Cassidy Riley (Niantic, CT) finished with one save to record her eighth shutout of the season and the 21st of her career. 

Junior Nini Acquista (Longmeadow, MA) finished with 17 saves to lead the Engineers.  It's the second highest total in her career, placing just behind the 21 she posted in a regular season trip to Babson last month.  Kelly Makechnie (Hampton Falls, NH), Lauren Meinhold (Boxboro, MA) and Natalie Mohn (Huntington, VT) all recorded shots for the Crimson and Gray.

The Green and White went in front 11:28 into the contest when Brady converted her first career penalty stroke after first-year Jessica Evans (Southbury, CT) was dragged down on a breakaway. McGrath doubled the lead with her 14th goal of the season 3:03 into the second, collecting a pass from graduate student Ellie Bisceglia (Kenilworth, IL) and creating space before burying her finish inside the right post. 

Curley put away a feed from Greer at the left post just over three minutes into the third quarter to become the 11th player in school history with 100 points extending the Beavers' lead to 3-0. McGrath banged home a loose ball in front 8:10 into the fourth quarter for her second goal of the night and then completed the hat trick a little over two minutes later with a blast from the right side of the circle following a penalty corner for the final margin. 

Babson finished with a 27-3 edge in shots, while both teams attempted six penalty corners in the match.  It was only the fourth time this season that the Beavers did not end with an advantage in corners, with the other three occurring against No. 1 Middlebury, No.4 Tufts and Mount Holyoke. 

Babson will host second-seeded MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament final on Saturday at noon. 

Recap courtesy Babson Sports Information