Babson 2, WPI 1
Worcester, MA --- Sophomore Jimmy Stento (Needham, MA) scored one goal and assisted another to help lift top-seeded host Babson to a 2-1 victory over visiting fourth seed WPI in the semifinals of the 2009 NEWMAC Men's Soccer Tournament at Hartwell-Rogers Field on Saturday. With the win, the Beavers (14-5-1), ranked eighth in New England by the NCAA, advance to their fourth straight conference championship game, where they will meet either second-seeded Wheaton College or sixth-seeded Clark University on Sunday at 1pm. Meanwhile, WPI finishes its season with a record of 10-7-1.
In a game dominated by defense and midfield play, the two squads combined for just six shots on net. The Beavers, who held a 16-9 shot advantage overall, broke through first at the 33-minute mark. After receiving a service from sophomore Clint Mason (Williamstown, MA) down the right side, Stento broke through a pair of defenders and fired a shot from close range into the upper left corner for his second goal of the year at 33:05. That gave the hosts a 1-0 lead that they would eventually carry into the break.
Babson doubled its lead in the 60th minute, beginning when sophomore Billy Nickerson (Middleton, MA) chipped a pass over the defense to Stento. The sophomore midfielder then slid a pass across the box to the left post, where first-year Eric Anderson (Scituate, MA) blasted home his team-leading 13th goal of the year at 59:26.
WPI pulled back to within one with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, as junior Thomas Cucinotta (Easton, MA) took a cross from senior captain Tommy Zajac (Merrimack, NH) on the left side and poked it in for his second goal of the season at 80:14. The goal was set up by Kevin Ducharme's (Bedford, MA) long throw in.
However, that would be all the Babson defense would allow, as the Beavers blocked the Engineers' lone shot in the final nine minutes to clinch the 2-1 victory.
Junior Peter Crowley (Lexington, MA) made one save to earn the victory for the Beavers, while junior Paul Moan (Watertown, MA) stopped two shots in net for WPI.
Release Courtesy Babson Sports Information