SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Aided by a pair of goals from juniors Diana Banmann and Kirsten Kilburn, the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team defeated Wheaton College, 5-0 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season finale on Saturday afternoon. The 17th-ranked Lyons improve to 16-1 overall and 7-1 in conference play, while Wheaton concludes its season with a 6-12 mark and a 1-7 record in the NEWMAC.
Mount Holyoke secured the second-seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament and earns a bye into the semifinals. The Lyons will face off next Saturday on the campus of Wellesley College, against the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal match between third-seeded MIT and sixth-seed Smith at 2pm.
Mount Holyoke jumped out to the early advantage after first year forward Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) sent a perfect insertion on the penalty corner out to the top of the circle. Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) wasted little time in firing the ball into the right side of the net past the reach of Wheaton keeper Ellie Massengill (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) at 6:35.
Kilburn made it a 2-0 advantage for the homestanding Lyons less than two minutes later after she navigated the ball in from the top of the arc and drove another bulletted shot past the reach of Massengill at the right post.
The scoring streak continued at the 10:01 mark for Mount Holyoke as senior forward Victoria Beja-Glasser (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill), who was honored for her contributions in a pre-game ceremony, snuck the ball in at the left post off a backhanded pass from Kilburn in the middle.
Later in the first half, Banmann (Hannover, Germany/University of Potsdam) pushed the MHC advantage to five (5-0). Her first tally came at 20:35 after she sent a shot in off a corner insert from Wagner, but was blocked by a Wheaton defender. The ball came loose and Banmann scrambled back to it, rocketing a shot directly into the left corner.
Banmann closed out the scoring for Mount Holyoke at 28:04, finding the rebound of a Chrissy Boyles's (Harvard, Mass./Acton Boxborough) shot in traffic and burying it under the keeper.
Wheaton tried to grab momentum back in the second half of action, aided by a strong defensive effort from Massengill, who made a great stop early in the half. Wagner came in on a one-on-one, but Massengill dove to keep MHC off the scoreboard.
The visiting Lyons then began to attack the net late in the frame. The flurry began with first year defender Holly Norberg (Walpole, Mass./Walpole), who sent a quick shot in on Lyons goalie Ally Tessier (Coventry, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey School). The ball was redirected to the left corner, where sophomore midfielder Kelsey Harris (Spencer, Mass./Worcester Academy) battled to push it in, but Tessier dove to cover.
Harris nearly capitalized for Wheaton less than two minutes later as she fired another shot in on the MHC goal, but once again, Tessier made the kick stop. Despite the momentum, Wheaton was unable to find the back of the net as the MHC defense held the visitors to just six shots overall.
MHC saw first year keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin) stop two shots through the first half of action to improve to 16-1 overall. She was relieved in the second half by first year Mariesa Mazzone (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy), who was not forced to make any saves through 24:11 of action. Tessier went on to make three stops over the final 17:45.
For Wheaton, Massengill made 10 stops in the loss, while Harris had a team-high two shots.
Mount Holyoke honored its lone senior, Beja-Glasser in a pre-game ceremony and also recognized the accomplishments of Wheaton seniors Massengill, Emily Chick (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) and Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth Regional).