In a season that most would deem a rebuilding year, the Mount Holyoke field hockey team defied the odds and returned to the NEWMAC Tournament for the 14th straight season. Despite the loss of nine seniors from the 2011 squad, longtime head coach Andy Whitcomb relied on strong senior leadership and solid young talent to bring her team back to the playoffs.
Mount Holyoke, which had a 7-10 overall record while finishing in a tie for sixth in the NEWMAC standings with a 2-6 mark, advanced to the conference quarterfinals at Wellesley and battled tough against the Blue. Wellesley held a 2-1 advantage after the first half of action and went up 3-1 early in the second stanza. First year midfielder Sarah LaQuerre got the Lyons to within one, but the Blue held on late for the victory.
Leading the way for the Lyons were sophomore midfielder Kirsten Kilburn and senior forward Angelica Pascual, who finished at the top of the stat sheet with 35 and 34 points, respectively. Kilburn recorded 14 goals and a squad-best seven assists, while Pascual added a team-high 15 goals with four assists.
The season opened up on a high note as victories over Regis (1-0 in OT) and Nichols (2-1) saw the Lyons with an undefeated mark. Despite set-backs against Castleton State and nationally-ranked Amherst, MHC tipped the scales back in their favor with wins over conference-rival Smith (9-1) and Western New England (4-0).
Mount Holyoke continued to battle in the second half of the season, posting wins over Wheaton (6-0), Simmons (3-0) and Westfield State (3-0). The Lyons wrapped-up the regular season with a tough loss at Babson, but held strong to make it into the playoffs.
At season's end, Kilburn was tabbed to the All-NEWMAC First Team and was also named to the Longstreth/NFHCA All-New England East Region Second Team. Pascual and her sister, defender Stephanie Pascual, were both selected to the All-NEWMAC Second Team, while senior goaltender Anne O'Byrne was a NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week honoree on September 3rd.
Academically, the Lyons showed their dominance once again as four student-athletes were tabbed to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference teams. The team also garnered NFHCA Academic Squad recognition for the 15th straight season, while nine student-athletes were placed on the organization's National Academic Squad.
• Finished sixth in the NEWMAC standings
• Posted wins against Nichols College, Regis College, Simmons College, Smith College, Westfield State University, Western New England University & Wheaton College
• Qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament for the 14th consecutive season
• Three student-athletes named to NEWMAC All-Conference Teams
• Longstreth/NFHCA All-New England Region Second Team – Kirsten Kilburn '15
• NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week (9/3/12) – Anne O'Byrne '13
• Five student-athletes earn NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honors
• Team recognized for NFHCA Academic Team honors for the 15th straight season
• Nine student-athletes named to NFHCA National Academic Squad