Field Hockey Moves Up To #19 Nationally; Banmann Earns Weekly Honors
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll was announced on Tuesday and Mount Holyoke College moved up to 19th overall in this week's poll. The Lyons, who were 20th overall for each of the last three weeks, also saw junior forward/midfielder Diana Banmann named the NEWMAC Offensive Performer of the Week and the ECAC New England Offensive Performer of the Week.
Under the guidance of 16th-year head coach Andy Whitcomb, the Lyons have an 11-1 record, going 3-1 among NEWMAC squads. Among the teams most notable wins include a 3-2 victory over Rensselaer, a 3-2 overtime win against then 11th-ranked Amherst – the first win for MHC over the Jeffs since the 2003 campaign – and a 3-2 win against conference and area-rival Smith.
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 seventh in winning percentage (.917) and scoring margin (3.44), while also ranking ninth in Division III in goals per game (4.50), points per game (11.75) and scoring average (4.53).
Among the NEWMAC leaders, MHC is first in defensive saves (9), while ranking second in goals scored (54), shots (289), shots per game (24.10), goals against average (1.09) and save percentage (.860).
Individually, the Lyons are led in scoring by Banmann (Hannover, Germany/University of Potsdam), who earned her third weekly award after scoring five goals last week to help MHC go 2-0. She tallied the game-winner and added another goal in a win at Smith and then recorded her fourth hat-trick of the season in a 4-2 victory at Springfield.
A starter through all 12 games, Banmann has tallied 21 goals with two assists for 44 points. She has also recorded team-best numbers in shots (91), shots on goal (66) and game-winning goals (5). Additionally, Banmann is second among Division III's best in goals per game (1.75) and fourth in points per game (3.67).
Junior midfielder and captain Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) is second on the squad in scoring, posting 39 points on a squad-best 15 assists and 12 goals. Kilburn is third in the nation and the conference leader in assists per game (1.25), while also ranking seventh-nationally in points per contest (3.25).
Defensively, Mount Holyoke has been anchored by rookie Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin), who is 11-1 with a 1.28 goals against average and a .827 save percentage. She has made 62 saves on the season and has recorded a solo shutout and three combined on the year, while first year defender Ruvimbo Mushavi (Harare, Zimbabwe/Arundel School) is 10th in the nation in defensive saves with seven.
The Lyons return to action on Saturday when they welcome Babson to the MHC Turf Field for a 2pm game. The contest coincides with Mount Holyoke's Family and Friends Weekend, as well as the Inaugural MHC Athletics Hall of Fame Induction.