Third-seeded Babson College defeated first-seeded MIT, ranked No. 17 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and No. 3 in the NCAA New England Regional poll, 2-1, in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Soccer Championship in come-from-behind fashion on Sunday afternoon at Steinbrenner Stadium.
With the win, Babson (12-6-2) claimed their seventh NEWMAC Men’s Soccer Championship in program history and second in as many years and get an automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament, which begins on Thursday, November 12. Recipients of an at-large bid, MIT will be making the program’s fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and will square off with Bridgewater State in the first round.
All three goals in the contest came over a stretch of eight and a half minutes, which began with an MIT marker at the 75:25 mark of the game. Austin Freel ’16 fired a shot that was saved by Beaver’s senior net minder Stephen Donato. Sean Bingham ’16 picked up the rebound and planted it into the lower left corner of the net to give MIT a 1-0 lead.
Babson evened the game at 1-1 just 7:03 later when freshman Carlos Arujo was awarded a corner kick. Arujo blasted the corner into the box where senior Tyler Carlos headed the ball into the upper right corner of the net, giving the Beavers all of the momentum heading into the final minutes of action.
Carlos, the NEWMAC Men’s Soccer Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, then lined up for a free kick from the 35 yard line with six minutes left on the clock. Sophomore Ian Cicalis scored the game winning goal and his first tally of the season, when he gathered the free kick and shot it past the reach of MIT goalie Jake Amereno ’16.
MIT held a 15-8 advantage in shots and a 9-6 differential in corner kicks. Amereno made a pair of saves for the Engineers as his record moves to 15-2-1 this year, while Donato stopped the ball seven times improving his stat line to 11-4-2 in 2015.