SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll has been announced and Mount Holyoke College moved up to 18th overall in this week's poll. The Lyons, who were 19th in last week's edition, also saw junior forward/midfielder Diana Banmann named the NEWMAC Offensive Performer of the Week for the second straight week and fourth time overall this season.
Under the guidance of 16th-year head coach Andy Whitcomb, the Lyons have an 12-1 record, going 4-1 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 continued to put forth a dominant effort 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 sixth in winning percentage (.923) and scoring margin (3.41), while also ranking seventh in Division III in goals per game (4.46) and scoring average (4.49).
Among the NEWMAC leaders, MHC is first in defensive saves (10), save percentage (.850) and shots per game (24.10), while ranking second in goals scored (58), shots (313), goals against average (1.08) and goals per game.
Individually, the Lyons are led in scoring by Banmann (Hannover, Germany/University of Potsdam), who earned her fourth weekly award after scoring Two goals last week to help MHC post a critical 4-1 win over Babson. She tallied the game's first goal, netted the third and also assisted on the game-winning goal. It was her eighth game this season with at least two or more goals.
A starter through all 13 games, Banmann has tallied 23 goals with three assists for 49 points. She has also recorded team-best numbers in shots (96), shots on goal (70) and game-winning goals (5). Additionally, Banmann is third among Division III's best in goals per game (1.77) and fifth in points per game (3.77).
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 fourth in the nation and the conference leader in assists per game (1.15), while also ranking 12th-nationally in points per contest (3.00).
Defensively, Mount Holyoke has been anchored by rookie Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin), who is 12-1 with a 1.23 goals against average and a .816 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 13th in the nation in defensive saves with seven.
The Lyons are back in action tonight when they host WPI at 7pm on the MHC Turf Field. Mount Holyoke then plays another critical conference match on Saturday at MIT at 1pm. Click HERE for tonight's game program against WPI.