SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior captain Kirsten Kilburn scored the game-winning tally in the 77th minute to lift the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 3-2 overtime victory against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the #17 Lyons improve to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play. MHC now owns sole possession of second-place in the NEWMAC standings with one conference game remaining. The Engineers suffered just their third loss of the season and now stand at 10-3 overall and 5-2 in the NEWMAC. MIT is third in the conference standings, also having one NEWMAC game remaining.
Locked in a 2-all tie at the end of regulation, Mount Holyoke came out charging in the overtime session, peppering the Engineers with 10 shots. Shortly after a shot saved at the goalie's feet by first year Sophie Perekslis (Sheffield, Mass./Berkshire School), the Lyons saw Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) blast the ball from the top of the arc. Her shot careened into traffic and was deflected in for the game-winner.
The goal for Kilburn, coupled with her earlier goal to open the contest, moved her even closer to the all-time goal scoring record. She now has 60 in her career, just seven shy of the record held by Shara Robertson '12.
Kilburn opened the game's scoring in the 12th minute after she blasted a shot from the top of the circle off a perfect injection on the corner by sophomore Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School).
MIT finally broke through in the final minute of play as junior Morgan Gulliver (Stamford, Conn./Stamford) one-timed a perfect pass across the middle from sophomore Keeley Erhardt (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron).
The second half saw Wagner push in the go-ahead for MHC in the 40th minute as she carried the ball into the zone and dribbled past the reach around goalie Evie Kyritsis (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes).
Momentum quickly swung in the favor of MIT following the goal as the Engineers stepped up their game with a 10-4 shot advantage in the second stanza. There were a number of solid opportunities, but it was first year Emily Penn (Elkridge, Md./Howard) who notched the equalizer. Senior Caitlin Mackey (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines) earned the assist, sending a perfect cross through the middle to Penn on the left, who banged it into the open corner.
For the Lyons, who held a 24-14 edge in shots, sophomore Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin) made six saves to improve to 13-2 on the season. On the MIT end, Kyritsis shouldered the loss for the Engineers and moves to 4-1 overall after a seven save effort in the second half. Junior Paige Kennedy (Eastchester, N.Y./School of the Holy Child) started for MIT and made five saves in the opening 35.
Prior to the game, the Lyons recognized the seniors from MIT, including Mackey, Elizabeth Dethy (Morristown, N.J./Philips Exeter) and Sarah Fay (South Hadley, Mass./The Williston Northampton School). MHC also honored and recognized their own senior class, including Kilburn, Chrissy Boyles (Harvard, Mass./Acton Boxborough), Sarah Watkins (Pisgah Forest, N.C./Carolina Day), Laura Murphy (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos), Kayla Parker (Manchester, Maine/Maranacoock Community), Christine Ianni (Greenville, Del./Tower Hill) and Allison Slysz (Hatfield, Mass./Smith Academy).
Mount Holyoke is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Westfield State for a 7pm contest. MIT returns on Wednesday, hosting the University of New England at 6pm.
Photo courtesy of David Bell.