SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Sept. 24, 2011) – Sophomore forward Stephanie Slysz scored two times to propel the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 5-3 triumph over NEWMAC foe Wellesley College this afternoon at the Mount Holyoke Turf Field. The Lyons exploded for goals over a span of 10:53 in the first half to set the tone for their third consecutive win.
A total of four players registered goals for the hosts, who put the brakes on a 14-match slide against Wellesley. The Lyons have now outscored their opponents 34-7 this season.
Senior forward Shara Robertson got Mount Holyoke on the board just over six minutes into the contest, when she tipped in a long entry pass from classmate Taylor Hedges. Robertson's team-leading ninth tally of the fall was just the beginning for the Lyons, who proceeded to score three more times before the break.
They extended their lead to 2-0 at the 11:49 mark, when Robertson dribbled into the circle and slid a short pass to Slysz in the middle of the circle. Slysz took two steps to her right and slotted a shot past first year goalkeeper Brit Mscisz for her first goal of the day.
Three minutes later, senior Jess Fajardo got her stick on a blast by first year midfielder Kirsten Kilburn to extend the lead to 3-0.
Kilburn emphatically capped off the rally at the 17:05 mark, when she rifled a shot past Mscisz from the top of the circle. Robertson was credited with the assist on the play.
Mount Holyoke's final two goals of the opening period came off of penalty corner sets.
The Lyons put things out of reach in the early stages of the second stanza, when Slysz used a feed from Robertson to push the lead to 5-0. Robertson's three assists were a career high.
Refusing to go away, Wellesley made things interesting with three goals down the stretch. All three tallies came off of penalty corner opportunities.
The first came at the 46:32 mark, when first year forward Nathalie Gruet knocked in a rebound from point blank range.
Nine minutes later, Gruet intercepted a shot by junior midfielder Allison Robbins and rolled a pass to first year forward Lallie Lukens on the right side. Lukens collected the cross and snapped a shot past Mount Holyoke senior goalkeeper Katie Gibson.
Junior forward Emily Lewis then scored her team-best ninth goal of the year to slice the deficit to 5-3 in the waning seconds, but it was not enough. Sophomore midfielder Alex Azzi was credited with the assist on the play.
Gibson amassed 12 saves for the Lyons, who were outshot 21-13 in the contest. She was at her best late in the first half, when she made a sprawling save on a penalty stroke by Azzi.
Mscisz stopped two shots in the first half before giving way to first year Becky Hamilton.
Mount Holyoke (5-1, 2-0 NEWMAC) will round out its four-match homestand versus Amherst College on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Wellesley (4-4, 0-2 NEWMAC) will entertain Tufts University on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Photos by Leila Quinn '12