A history-making moment unfolded for the women’s soccer team last semester. For the first time in 35 seasons, its name was called during the NCAA Tournament selection show on November 9. “When that reality check hit and we saw Babson appear on the screen, I felt so proud of our team and everything we had accomplished,” says Colleen Beggan ’18, one of the team’s defensive leaders. “It was an honor. Truly amazing.”
After hearing their name called, the Beavers learned they would face the defending national champions, Lynchburg College, in the first round. Babson traveled to Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, to compete and battled mightily with the Hornets before falling 1-0.
The team posted a record of 14-4-5 overall and 5-1-4 in the NEWMAC, racking up its most wins since 1993 while posting its third highest victory total in program annals. The Beavers also set a school record with 14 shutouts and advanced to the conference tournament championship game for the first time since 2011.
Sixth-year head coach Nellie Pineault, MBA’03, says preparation played a key role in the team’s success. “We were very focused on the little things, on the process, doing things in practice that made a difference in the game,” she says. “We continued to develop and grow as a program and played in the NCAAs for what ultimately has been our goal not just since August but for years.”
Beggan says, “We felt like everything came together— from the work we did in the preseason, at practice, and during lifts—for the moment when we stepped foot on that field in New Jersey. We played for each other and for our seniors. That experience was special, and knowing we were the first to do it made it even more memorable.”
Although the final outcome wasn’t what the team had envisioned, members have plenty of positives to take away from the historic season, and the 20 returning Beavers look forward to playing in 2016.
“One area we’ve really emphasized to the team is pride,” says Pineault. “Pride in the program, pride in representing the school, wearing green and white, and representing the alums who have all played before them.”—Scott Dietz, associate director of athletics