SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Powered by a three-goal first half, the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team defeated Springfield College, 4-1 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the #19 Lyons improve to 9-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Pride slip to 5-6 and 1-3 in the NEWMAC.
In addition to the win, MHC saw a record-tying performance as senior captain Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) tied the all-time mark for career assists. Her three helpers against Springfield pushed her total to 49, tying her with Lauren Weiner '03.
Mount Holyoke opened the scoring just 11:46 into the contest as Kilburn fired in a shot off a corner, which was deflected into the goal at the right side by first year Sophie Perekslis (Sheffield, Mass./Berkshire School).
The Lyons added to their advantage in the 29th minute off another corner as the ball once again travelled out to Kilburn, who blasted it in from just inside the top of the arc. Senior defender Allison Slysz (Hatfield, Mass./Smith Academy) was in perfect position, poised at the left post to knock in the bullet shot from Kilburn for the 2-0 lead.
Junior Sarah LaQuerre (Old Orchard Beach, Maine/Cheverus) made it a 3-0 game just before the half after she collected the ball off the corner injection and lobbed it into the air and over the head of the Springfield keeper. Sophomore Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) earned the assist for her corner feed to LaQuerre in the 31st minute.
In the second half, the Lyons pushed their advantage to 4-0 within the first six minutes as Kilburn sent a beautiful pass through traffic at the goal mouth, which was quickly fired in to the right corner by junior Anna Hartman (Montpelier, Vt./Montpelier).
The Pride, who had a number of solid chances throughout the contest, finally broke through in the 53rd minute on an outstanding individual effort from junior Katie Gill (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan). Carrying the ball into the circle, Gill charged on net and battled through traffic in front to bury it past MHC goalie Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin).
Springfield had another chance with just four minutes remaining as Gill once again fired it past DiCesare, but the goal was waived off for a violation.
The two teams both put forth 12 shots in the contest, while the Lyons held an 8-4 edge in corner shots. On the defensive side, DiCesare earned the victory with eight saves, while her counterpart, Timarie Villa (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) recorded six stops in the Pride goal.
Mount Holyoke returns to action next Saturday at Babson (12pm), while Springfield is at Trinity on Wednesday (6pm).