WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The Wellesley College field hockey team won the 2013 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship with a 1-0 overtime victory over Mount Holyoke on Sunday afternoon in Wellesley. The Blue earned the program's seventh title, and the first since 2002.
Wellesley moves to 17-3 overall with the victory and earns a First Round bye in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue will face the winner of the Wednesday match between Wilkes and Ursinus on Saturday at Salisbury. Mount Holyoke (17-2) earned an At-Large bid into this year's tournament and will host Gwynedd-Mercy on Wednesday at the MHC Turf Field.
The Blue scored just over a minute and a half into overtime on a well-executed penalty corner. Sophomore Hannah Flesch was in on the insertion and sent it to junior Meghan Peterson at the top of the circle. Peterson then ripped a ball to the right post where sophomore Anissa Sridhar tapped the ball into the back of the cage for the golden goal.
The overtime score capped a solid game for the Blue, who out-shot Mount Holyoke 22-6 and held a 17-9 edge in corners.
The Blue opened up on the attack, recording five corners and four shots in the first four minutes of play. Mount Holyoke kept itself in the game with a Liz DiCesare save and two defensive saves from Sarah LaQuerre.
After the initial Wellesley flurry, the game settled and became a midfield battle. Wellesley had a pair of chances turned away by DiCesare late in the half, before Mount Holyoke took over on offense. In the final three minutes of the half, the Lyons drew a pair of corners and had their only shot of the period, a Kirsten Kilburn attempt on a corner, go wide.
At the break, Wellesley held a 6-1 advantage in shots and a 5-3 edge in corners. The Lyons' DiCesare kept things close, recording five first half saves.
In the second half, the Blue continued to dominate much of the offense, holding possession through much of the period until a late run from the Lyons. The Blue racked up a 15-5 shot advantage and just about doubled the Lyons corners, compiling a 11-6 lead.
Wellesley had a number of second half shots denied by DiCesare, while the Blue's Brit Mscisz also came up big. Mount Holyoke's Kilburn recorded two hard shots off corners that were both turned away by Mscisz, keeping the game scoreless.
Despite holding considerable advantages in shots and corners, Wellesley needed to fend off three straight Mount Holyoke corners in the final three minutes to force overtime. The Lyons got a shot off on the second corner, another scorcher from Kilburn, but the ball was blocked by the Blue, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, Mount Holyoke had the first possession, but Wellesley's midfield quickly regained control, dishing the ball out to the forwards who set up the game-winning corner.
Mount Holyoke's DiCesare was saddled with the hard-luck loss, recording nine total saves, while Mscisz earned the win for the Blue with a pair of saves. Mscisz was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player, coming up with five saves in a win over Babson yesterday, and earning the shut-out victory in goal today.
Game Story courtesy of Lauren Ferrett, Wellesley Sports Information.