With the win, Wellesley (10-7) advances to Sunday’s championship game at 1 p.m., where the Blue will take on host Babson in a rematch of last year’s final. Springfield, meanwhile, finishes its season at 10-7.
Junior Erin Doolan (Blauvelt, N.Y.) struck less than three minutes in to give Springfield an early 1-0 advantage, but Wellesley answered with three straight scores to take a 3-1 lead. First-year Elizabeth Hays (Roswell, Ga.) scored the first at 23:23, sophomore Colette Whitaker (Great Falls, Va.) netted the second off an assist from rookie Briana Roberge (Bow, N.H.) at 19:46, and senior Amber Evans (Worthington, Ohio) tallied the third at 9:54.
Springfield got one goal back when sophomore Alexandra Bazzano (Newington, Conn.) scored her first of the day with 8:25 left in the opening session, but the Blue rattled off three more goals in the next five minutes to make it a 6-2 contest. Roberge netted two of the three on free position attempts, while sophomore Molly Morrow (Bow, N.H.) scored the third off a feed from classmate Loretta White (Northampton, Mass.). Bazzano would net her second of the half for Springfield with 1:21 remaining, but Wellesley still held a 6-3 advantage at the break.
The Blue extended their lead with two quick goals in the second, as sophomore Haley Geller (Berkeley, Calif.) shook off an early injury to assist Whitaker at 26:47 and then score a goal of her own at 24:51. That gave Wellesley its largest lead of the day, 8-3, but Springfield responded behind first-year Kaeleigh Lannan (Derry, N.H.), who scored at 17:38 and picked up an assist on a goal by senior Rachel Lampros (Boxborough, Mass.) at 14:04.
White pushed Wellesley’s advantage back to four, 9-5, when she converted a free position with 12:49 left to play, and, after Bazzano cut it back to three with her third of the day at 9:35, sophomore Caitlin Meeker (Columbia, Md.) tallied the Blue’s fifth free position goal of the day to make it 10-6. The Pride would manage one final goal by Lampros with 5:55 remaining, but the Wellesley defense clamped down to allow just two shots – both off net – in the final six minutes as the Blue held on for the 10-7 victory.
Roberge led Wellesley with two goals and one assist, while Whitaker added two goals and a game-high six groundballs. White and Geller each chipped in with one goal and one helper, and Jaronczyk made six stops in the first and four in the second for a total of 10 saves.
Bazzano paced Springfield’s offense with three goals, while Lampros contributed two goals and one assist. Lannan added one goal and one assist, and sophomore goalie Lauren McAulay (Yorktown, N.Y) made eight saves and picked up three groundballs in net.
For the second straight year, Wellesley will meet Babson in the NEWMAC Championship Game. The host Beavers edged the Blue, 12-10, for their first-ever conference title and NCAA Tournament berth last spring. The tourney’s top seed and the 10th-ranked team in the nation, Babson advanced to this year’s title game with a 14-6 win over fifth-seeded MIT earlier today.