SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – A pair of goals and an assist from junior midfielder Kirsten Kilburn helped power the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 4-1 victory over Westfield State University on Tuesday evening. The Lyons, who are ranked 17th in the latest NFHCA DIII Top 20 Poll, improve to 15-1 on the season, while the visiting Owls move to 6-10 overall.
MHC broke onto the scoreboard early in the opening half as junior Diana Banmann (Hannover, Germany/University of Potsdam) recorded her 28th tally of the season just 1:31 into the game. Set up in front of the goal, Banmann got her stick on a rebounded ball and fired it in past the reach of senior Jess Rodier (Oxford, Mass.).
Westfield State had a great opportunity as junior Ashley Spindel (Mendon, Mass.) navigated into the zone, but her shot through traffic went inches wide of the right post.
Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) pushed the Lyons lead to 2-0 in the 29th minute after she maneuvered the ball into the arc and ducked around a defender. Resettling the ball to her right side, she sent a low shot past Rodier into the left corner.
Mount Holyoke made it a 3-0 advantage just before halftime as Kilburn sent a shot in on goal that was deflected away at the mid-point right onto the stick of sophomore midfielder Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), who stuffed it in at the right corner.
In the second half, the visiting Owls took advantage of an infraction in the MHC goal to earn a penalty stroke for senior midfielder Danielle Grenon (Somerset, Mass.), who shot it to the left corner past the reach of Lyons goalie Mariesa Mazzone (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy) to cut the deficit to two (3-1) in the 47th minute.
The two teams continued to battle, but Kilburn prevailed for the home team as she hustled into the zone and sent a sweeping backhanded shot through traffic and into the left corner of the goal to cap the scoring in the game.
Mount Holyoke held a 25-5 advantage in shots for the game, as well as a 15-6 edge in corners. In goal, first year Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin) earned the win after playing the first 35 minutes (0 saves). Mazzone (0 saves) played the first 29:58 of the second half, while rookie Ally Tessier (Coventry, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey School) made one stop in the final 5:02 of the game. First year Ruvimbo Mushavi (Harare, Zimbabwe/Arundel School) also had a defensive save – her 10th of the season.
For Westfield State, Rodier stopped nine shots in the first half before giving way to first year Megan Fountaine (Scituate, Mass.), who made five saves in the second stanza. Additionally, the Owls saw senior Courtney Araujo (Somerset, Mass.) and junior Kelsey Carpenter (Barre, Mass.) each record a defensive save.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Saturday in its regular season finale match against Wheaton on the MHC Turf Field at 12pm. Westfield State is back on Friday when it hosts Western Connecticut State at 7pm.