SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College field hockey team broke into the national rankings on Tuesday as the most recent Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll was announced. The Lyons, who are undefeated through the first seven games, are listed 20th overall.
Under the guidance of 16th-year head coach Andy Whitcomb, the Lyons have opened the 2013 season with a 7-0 record. Among the teams most notable wins include a 3-2 victory over Rensselaer and a 3-2 overtime win against then 11th-ranked Amherst – the first win for MHC over the Jeffs since the 2003 campaign.
With a roster of 25 student-athletes, including 12 first years, the Lyons have been dominant across the board and lead the nation and New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in a number of categories. Among the nation's best, Mount Holyoke is first in winning percentage (1.000), while also ranking third in Division III in points per game (14.43) and scoring margin (4.86).
The Lyons are also fourth in the nation in goals per game (5.57) and scoring average (5.74). Among the NEWMAC leaders, MHC is first in goals scored (39), shots (226), shots on goal (151), shots per game (23.30) and defensive saves (5).
Individually, the Lyons are led in scoring by junior forward Diana Banmann (Hannover, Germany/University of Potsdam), who had tallied 14 goals with an assist for 29 points as a starter in all seven games. She has also recorded team-best numbers in shots (67), shots on goal (48) and game-winning goals (3). Additionally, Banmann is second among Division III's best in goals per game (2.00) and fourth in points per game (4.14).
Junior midfielder and captain Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) is second on the squad in scoring, posting 28 points on a squad-best 10 assists and nine goals. Kilburn is the national leader in assists per game (1.43) and is also fifth in points per contest (4.00) behind Banmann.
Defensively, Mount Holyoke has been anchored by rookie Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin), who is 7-0 with a 1.01 goals against average and a .833 save percentage. She has made 30 saves on the season and has recorded three combined shutouts on the year, while first year defender Ruvimbo Mushavi (Harare, Zimbabwe/Arundel School) is eighth in the nation in defensive saves with five.
The Lyons return to action this evening when they host Wesleyan at 7pm. MHC then opens its 2013 NEWMAC schedule on Saturday, welcoming Wellesley at 1pm.