SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Junior forward Nathalie Gruet scored with 6:17 to play in overtime to lift the Wellesley College field hockey team to a 2-1 victory against Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday. With the win, the 19th-ranked Blue move to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play, while the 20th-ranked Lyons see their eight-game winning streak snapped and are now 8-1 and 0-1 in the NEWMAC.
Locked in the 1-1 battle after a scoreless second half of action, Mount Holyoke came out on the offensive and nearly tipped in the game-winner with 13 minutes remaining in the extra session as junior midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) ripped a shot from the top of the arc that was kicked away by Wellesley netminder Brit Mscisz (Topsfield, Mass./Pingree).
Wellesley controlled the ball for much of the play after that point and were finally able to capitalize as a shot from first year midfielder Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J./Summit) sailed into the middle off a corner and was picked up by Gruet. Redirecting it around the keeper, Gruet sent it into the right side for the game-winner.
The contest opened in Mount Holyoke's favor as the homestanding Lyons scored just 42 seconds into the game. Junior Christine Ianni (Greenville, Del./Tower Hill) earned the assist after she belted a shot toward goal, which rebounded out to senior Victoria Beja-Glasser (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill), who one-touched it into the left corner.
The score remained the same until the 16th minute as sophomore midfielder Anissa Sridhar (Idlerton, Ontario/Lakefield College School) put in a loose ball at the right side. Gruet earned the assist after her shot in front was saved by MHC's Sarah LaQuerre (Old Orchard Beach, Maine/Cheverus), who was unable to clear it off the defensive save.
In the second half of action, there was a flurry of activity as Wellesley crashed the net. The Blue nearly grabbed the go-ahead, but a shot from Sridhar – which was the last of three consecutive shots on goal – was disallowed.
Junior midfielder Diana Banmann (Hannover, Germany/University of Potsdam) almost put the Lyons up with 15:07 left on the clock, but a huge save by Mscisz on her powerful shot kept it at 1-all. MHC keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin) also made several incredible saves, including one off a shot by Sharkin, which saw her block out a shot from an awkward angle.
Despite the number of chances down the stretch, neither team was able to get the go-ahead to force the overtime session.
In goal, DiCesare stopped 14 shots for Mount Holyoke, while her counterpart Mscisz had three saves. Wellesley held the edge in shots, 21-5 and also claimed an 18-3 advantage in penalty corners.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on October 5 when it travels to Clark for a 1pm contest. Wellesley is back on the field on Wednesday in a 7pm match at Gordon.