On a Wednesday afternoon in early October, two collegiate soccer teams took to a pitch in Massachusetts. The two combatants each boasted top-five scorers in the nation and harbored hopes of a deep run in their conference tournament.
The game did not feature top-ranked Division 3 women’s programs such as Williams, MIT or Connecticut College. There were no NESCAC teams or CCC programs, either. The game was between two New England Collegiate Conference teams, but not Lesley nor Elms, winners of the past six conference championships and eight of the past nine.
On Oct. 11, Becker College (Worcester and Leicester, Mass.) and Bay Path University (Longmeadow, Mass.) squared off, each with one conference loss, and each with a player tied for third in the nation in goals: Bay Path junior Jai Ruiz (Hadley, Mass.) and Becker junior Lindsey Keith (Sutton, Mass.).