WELLESLEY, Mass. – Two first half goals and an eight-save performance by rookie goalie Liz DiCesare proved to be the difference as Mount Holyoke College defeated Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2-1 in the second of two New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Field Hockey semifinals at Wellesley on Saturday. The second-seeded Lyons (17-1) now advance to Sunday's 1:00pm final against top-seed and host Wellesley, who defeated fourth-seeded Babson, 3-2, earlier today.
MIT, the third-seed, sees its 2013 campaign come to an end with a 14-5 overall mark, while Mount Holyoke will make its second appearance in the NEWMAC finals in the last three seasons and fourth in program history. The Lyons, who are ranked 16th in the nation, will return to the title game after an overtime loss in the 2011 Championship. Additionally, the victory marked the ninth consecutive win for MHC, setting a new program record.
Mount Holyoke jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, connecting on a penalty corner just nine minutes into play. The Lyons' Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa.)sent in the insertion and Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn.) laced a shot from the top of the circle. Victoria Beja-Glasser (Chapel Hill, N.C.) then deflected the ball into the back of the cage for the score, her fifth of the season.
After the Mount Holyoke goal, MIT took over possession, recording seven shots and four penalty corners in a 20-minute stretch. The Engineers run included a great chance to get the equalizer in the 14th-minute, but Caitlin Mackey's attempt hit the post and bounced to the left and out of play.
Following MIT's offensive surge, Mount Holyoke regained possession, and with just under a minute left in the first half Diana Banmann (Hannover, Germany) pushed the lead to 2-0. The junior scored her 31st of the year, after carrying the ball to the top of the circle and bulleting a shot past the MIT keeper.
Despite being down by two, it was MIT that held the edge in both shots and corners at the break. The Engineers out-shot the Lyons 8-3 and also had a 4-1 edge in corners, but DiCesare (Westford, Mass.) recorded four saves in the period, keeping MIT off the board.
MIT took over again in the second half, recording four out of the half's first five shots, and compiling a 9-4 shot advantage in the period. Mount Holyoke again withstood the pressure, as DiCesare tallied three saves in the first 13 minutes of the period.
The Engineers broke through with just over two minutes to play, as Michelle Teplensky cut the MIT deficit to just one goal. The senior received a feed from Mackey and beat the keeper to the left after a unleashing a hard shot from the top of the circle for her 17th goal of the season.
In the waning minutes, MIT had a chance to take over possession, but the Mount Holyoke back line regained control and sealed the victory for the Lyons.
MIT ended the game with a 17-7 advantage in shots and a 10-3 lead in penalty corners. Mount Holyoke's DiCesare picked up her 17th win of the season in goal for the Lyons, turning away eight shots, while Evie Kyritsis picked up three saves for the Engineers in the loss.
MHC NOTES: FANS!!! Come out and support the Lyons on Sunday as they battle the Blue at 1pm. Sunday's NEWMAC Championship Game appearance will be the fourth in program history. MHC has never faced Wellesley in the Championship Game. In the all-time series, Mount Holyoke is 35-13-3 against the Blue. This is the 15th straight season that MHC has appeared in the NEWMAC Tournament. Currently, the Lyons are riding a nine-game win streak, which is a new program record for most consecutive games won in a season. The Lyons have not lost since September 28th, a 2-1 overtime loss to Wellesley.
GAME STORY courtesy of Lauren Ferrett, Wellesley Sports Information Director.