NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – A pair of second half goals and a six-save effort from first year netminder Liz DiCesare proved to be the difference as the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team defeated Smith College, 3-2 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday night. With the victory, the 20th-ranked Lyons improve to 10-1 and are now 2-1 in the conference. The Pioneers slip to 8-2 and 2-2 in NEWMAC play.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the opening stanza. Mount Holyoke tested Smith with a pair of early efforts from Charlotte Wagner, but Maddi Wyda made a save on the first and Meg Richardson was on hand to clear the second one off the line.
Smith responded with a pair of shots from Marissa Vara, but DiCesare made saves on both. After Wyda stopped Anna Hartman at one end, Smith nearly broke the deadlock through Petru Bester, who rattled the post.
The Lyons did get on the board in the 27th minute. After a Mount Holyoke penalty corner, a massive scrum ensued in front of the cage, where Diana Banmann squeezed her 17th goal of the year past Wyda. Mount Holyoke carried the 1-0 lead into halftime, and the Lyons added a second three minutes into the half when Wagner knocked in her fifth of the year.
Smith responded with massive pressure at the other end of the field, and were rewarded Alexa DeJesus tipped in Allie Stein's shot after Rebecca Meagher's penalty corner to trim the lead to 2-1.
The Pioneers continued to attack, earning four straight penalty corners in the 53rd minute, but the Lyons netted a crucial third goal from Julia Bell in the 61st minute. That goal would prove necessary, as Smith earned a penalty corner in the 66th minute, where Emma Camilerri's pass went to Vara, who rifled in her third of the year to make it a 3-2 game that would be the final score.
Wyda made four saves for Smith, while DiCesare made six stops for the Lyons.
Smith will take a break from NEWMAC play to host Western New England University on Thursday, October 10 at 4 p.m. The Lyons will be in action on Saturday, traveling to Springfield College for a 4 p.m. contest.
Story courtesy of Smith College Sports Information. Photo courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.