NEW LONDON, Conn. - Sophomore Niall Dillon's goal with 1:48 left proved to be the game winner as Babson came from behind to top Coast Guard 16-15 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Saturday afternoon at Cadet Memorial Field.
With the loss the Bears finish the season 10-6 overall and 4-3 in conference play. The Beavers move to 8-7 on the season and 4-3 in the NEWMAC. With the win, Babson clinches the four seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
Sophomore Anthony Wyler had a game high nine points scoring eight goals and dishing out one assist. Eight goals is a career and a program single game program record for Wyler. Freshman Riley McNulty added six points of his own with three goals and three assists. He finishes his freshman year with 62 points on 39 goals and 23 assists. Senior Blaise Curtis had a hat trick in his final game and sophomore Benner Geurtsen notched four points with a goal and three assists.
Sophomores Brendan Duffy and Samuel Mishkind led the way for the Beavers each tallying four points on three goals and one assist. Dillon, junior Austin Fabel and freshman Owen Allen each had two goals and an assist while junior Jason Cox had two goals of his own.
After the two teams traded goals to start the game, Coast Guard rattled off three of the final four goals of the period for a 4-2 advantage at the end of one. Wyler fired home two goals over this stretch while Curtis added one of his own.
The Bears pushed their lead to four in the second quarter as McNulty started the period with two goals for the 6-2 lead at the 11:54 mark. After two goals from the Beavers sandwiched around one from Coast Guard, the Bears took their biggest lead of the game at five with just over a minute to go in the half on goals from Wyler and Curtis. Babson however took one back just eight second later after a quick face-off win, junior Connor Maloney found Duffy with a pass making the first half score 9-5.
Wyler started the third quarter with a goal at the 13:43 mark pushing Coast Guard's lead back to five before Babson began chipping away at the Bears lead. Duffy and Cox each netted goals to drop Coast Guard's advantage to three. The two for one trend continued as Wyler scored at 9:40 mark of the period before senior Matthew Logan and Duffy each scored goals to make the score 11-9 with just over 6:30 to play in third.
Wyler once again stopped the run with a goal before junior Axel Brown scored the final goal of the period with 1:23 on the clock for a 12-10 score going into the fourth quarter.
After Allen made it a one goal game, Wyler scored his seventh goal of the game pushing the lead back to two at 13-11.
Babson then went on a 5-1 run taking their first lead of the game with a goal from Fabel followed by a goal from Dillon making the score 16-14 in favor of the visitors with 1:48 to go in the game.
Curtis brought the score back to one on an unassisted goal with 44 second left in the game. Sophomore Colin Cashin then won the following face-off and moved the ball into the attacking third where the Bears called time out with 26 seconds on the clock. Out of the timeout Wyler took a pass on the left side of a cage and attempted to fire a shot home, but was disrupted by a timely stick check from a Babson defender forcing a blocked shot and allowing the Beavers to run out the clock and seal the victory and postseason berth.
Sophomore Trey Johnson (9-6) made 10 saves on 26 shots allowing 16 goals. Johnson finishes the season with 123 saves, an 8.70 goals against average and a 50.8% save percentage.
Junior Jordan Shapiro (2-0) played the second half for Babson making four saves on 10 shots and allowing six goals. Freshman Christian Aranalde started the game make eight saves on 17 shots, allowing nine goals.
Cashin won 21-31 face-offs with a game high 13 ground balls leading the Bears to a slim ground ball advantage (35-34). Cashin finishes the regular season leading the NEWMAC in won face-offs (212) and ground balls (138). As of April 28th, Cashin was seventh in the country in face-off winning percentage (.713) and 20th in ground balls per game (8.33).
The Bears defense caused ten turnovers with sophomore Tom Bleifuss leading the team with three followed by two from sophomore Jeff Porter. Babson caused just one less (9) with junior Jack O'Donoghue and freshman Tyler Patterson each causing three.
Coast Guard finishes the year with their second 10 win season in only their third year playing at the NCAA level. The Bears will return 33 players who helped score a school record 208 goals in a single season. We wish the best of luck to graduating seniors Blaise Curtis and Dan Fiorvanti who played in a combined 78 games for Coast Guard.