SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Nov. 1, 2010) – For the 12th year in a row, the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team has qualified for the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament. The fourth seeded Lyons will host fifth seeded Springfield College in the Quarterfinal Round tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. It will be their first postseason home match since the 2005 season.
Quarterfinals: Tuesday, November 2 at higher seed's site:
#1 Babson College – bye
#2 MIT – bye
#5 Springfield College at #4 Mount Holyoke College – 7:00 p.m.
#6 Clark University at #3 Wheaton College – 2:00 p.m.
Semifinals: Saturday, November 6 at Babson College:
Winner Springfield/Mount Holyoke vs. Babson – 12:00 p.m.
Winner Clark/Wheaton vs. MIT – 3:00 p.m.
Championship: Sunday, November 7 at Babson College:
Semifinal Winners – 12:30 p.m.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Top seeded Babson College will be looking to secure its first ever NEWMAC Tournament championship after sprinting to a perfect 8-0 mark during the regular season. The Beavers will have their work cut out to reach Springfield, which has racked up seven titles over the league's first 23 seasons. The Pride earned five consecutive championships from 2004 to 2007 before MIT captured its second last fall. Mount Holyoke took home titles in 2001 and 2003. Meanwhile, Wellesley College has finished on top six times, and WPI and Smith College have prevailed four and two times, respectively.
THE MATCHUP: Fourth seeded Mount Holyoke hosts fifth seeded Springfield College in a NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinal Round contest Tuesday evening at the Mount Holyoke Turf Field. In five previous postseason meetings between the programs, Springfield owns a 3-2 advantage. After falling 2-1 to the Pride in the 1999 Championship, the Lyons returned the favor with a 1-0 triumph in the 2001 title tilt. They also topped Springfield 3-0 in the 2002 Quarterfinals and 2-1 in the 2003 Championship. Their most recent postseason meeting came in 2007, when Springfield picked up a 3-0 victory in the Quarterfinals.
1999: NEWMAC Championship – Springfield 2, Mount Holyoke 1
2001: NEWMAC Championship – Mount Holyoke 1, Springfield 0
2002: NEWMAC Quarterfinals – Mount Holyoke 3, Springfield 0
2003: NEWMAC Championship – Mount Holyoke 2, Springfield 1
2007: NEWMAC Quarterfinals – Springfield 3, Mount Holyoke 0
MOST RECENT MEETING: Mount Holyoke rolled to a 4-1 triumph over Springfield in the regular season finale for both squads on Saturday. Sophomore Shara Robertson poured in three goals to lead the way for the Lyons. It was her fourth hat trick this season and sixth of her outstanding career. The forward got her team on the board for what proved to be the winner at the 7:54 mark. Springfield evened things two minutes later on a goal by first year forward Kelly Gallo. From there, it was all Mount Holyoke. The Lyons exploded for three goals in the first 4:30 of the second stanza to seal things. Robertson tallied two, and first year forward Stephanie Slysz knocked in the other.
THE LYONS: Mount Holyoke (11-5, 5-3 NEWMAC) closed out its regular season with six straight victories, including four in league play. The Lyons have been paced by forward Shara Robertson, who has piled up 39 points on 18 goals and three assists. Six of her tallies have gone down as winners. After a slow start to her collegiate career, forward Stephanie Slysz erupted for seven goals during the month of October. She notched winners in Mount Holyoke's victories over Nichols College and Clark University. Over the course of the season, she has totaled eight goals and four assists. The Lyons have also received a boost from forward Jess Fajardo, who has posted four goals and three assists. Meanwhile, midfielder Tricia Chase has added three goals and four assists. On the defensive end, goalkeeper Katie Gibson has recorded a goals against average of 1.21 and a save percentage of .829. The junior has collected five shutouts.
THE PRIDE: Springfield (8-10, 4-4 NEWMAC) has suffered four straight setbacks after opening the season with an overall record of 8-6. The Pride have been paced by forward Kelly Gallo, who has amassed 24 points on 10 goals and four assists. Two of her tallies have gone down as match winners. Fellow forwards Alexa Carlson and Meghan McHugh have collected five goals apiece, and Carlson's nine helpers are good for tops on the team. Springfield has also received solid production from midfielder Kayla Sokol, who has dished out five assists to go with a goal. Midfielder Liz Hurley and defender Amy Dean have chipped in with three tallies apiece. Alison McCarthy has been the featured goalkeeper for the Pride. In 1,170 minutes played, she has posted a goals against average of 2.39 and a save percentage of .795. She has collected a pair of shutouts. Her team has been outscored 48-34 this season.
NEXT UP: The winner of this match will face off against top seeded Babson College on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. The NEWMAC Championship is slated to take place on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Babson will host both Semifinal Round contests, as well as the Championship.