SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll has been announced and Mount Holyoke College moved up to 16th overall in this week's poll. MHC had previously been ranked 17th since October 21st. The Lyons were listed 19th since September 30th. The Lyons have remained ranked in the Division III poll since September 24, 2013.
Under the guidance of 17th-year head coach Andy Whitcomb, the Lyons have a 13-2 record, going 6-1 among NEWMAC squads. Among the teams most notable wins include a 3-1 victory at Rensselaer, a 7-0 win against Castleton State, a 1-0 victory over then #18 Williams, a 2-1 overtime victory at Wesleyan and a critical 3-2 overtime win against MIT last Saturday. That game secured the second-seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament for the Lyons.
The Lyons have continued to put forth a dominant effort across the board and lead the nation and New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in a number of categories. Among the nation's best, Mount Holyoke is ninth in save percentage (.840), 12th in both goals against average (0.98) and winning percentage (.867), 14th in assists per game (2.47) and 21st in both penalty corners per game (12.27) and points per game (9.40).
Among the NEWMAC leaders, MHC is first in save percentage (.840), while ranking second in goals scored (59), fewest goals allowed (15), penalty corners (184), assists (37), goals against average and goals per game (3.47).
Individually, the Lyons are led in scoring by senior captain and midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford), who earned her second straight NEWMAC Offensive Performer of the Week honor on Monday, scoring four goals (two game-winners) with two assists for 10 points.
A starter in all 14 games, Kilburn ranks first in Division III and the NEWMAC with 16 assists, adding 11 goals for a team-best 38 points. She has added a conference-high 89 shots (51 on goal) and has a NEWMAC-best six game-winning tallies. Additionally, she ranks third in the conference in points and is fifth in goals.
Sophomore forward Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) is currently second overall with nine goals and 10 assists for 24 points. She is currently second in the NEWMAC in assists and sixth in points. First year midfielder Sophie Perekslis (Sheffield, Mass./Berkshire School) is the team-leader in goals with 13 for 26 points. Among the top rookies in the conference, she ranks fourth in goals and eight in points.
Defensively, Mount Holyoke has been anchored by rookie Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin), who is 13-2 on the season. She currently ranks 11th in Division III in save percentage - a NEWMAC-best .833 - and is also 18th in goals against average with a 1.08 clip. DiCesare has made 75 saves on the season over 971:26 minutes of action. Among the NEWMAC leaders, DiCesare is second in wins and goals against average, while ranking fourth in goals against (15).
The Lyons return to action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Westfield State for a 7pm game against the Owls. MHC then wraps-up its regular season on Saturday with a 12pm conference game at Wheaton. The NEWMAC Tournament will begin on November 4th with the Quarterfinals. Mount Holyoke will face the winner of the quarterfinal game between the third-seed and the sixth-seed on November 8 at 2pm on the campus of Wellesley College - the top-seed in this year's tournament with an 8-0 conference record.