SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior captain Hannah Flesch scored off a rebound shot with 5:32 remaining in the second overtime to lift the Wellesley College field hockey team to a 2-1 victory against Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday.
With the victory, the ninth-ranked Blue remain undefeated at 7-0, owning a 2-0 conference mark. The Lyons slip to 4-4 and are now 0-1 in the NEWMAC. The game marked the fourth overtime contest between the two schools in the last five meetings. Mount Holyoke and Wellesley have played nine overtime contests in their 38- year rivalry, with just two going to double overtime – the last being in 1988 (a 2-1 Wellesley win).
As the minutes ticked down, Wellesley drew into the offensive zone, gaining the penalty corner advantage of a late foul. The ball sailed out to junior midfielder Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J./Summit) at the top of the circle, who handled it in and sent a bullet shot in on goal. Lyons keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin) made the kick save, but the ball ricocheted left onto the stick of Flesch (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson), who buried in for the game-winner.
Wellesley, which held a 24-12 advantage in shots for the contest, got the scoring going at 48:22 of the second half. Off a penalty corner – to which the Blue owned an 11-10 edge in the game – Sharkin blasted a shot into traffic from the high circle. Junior forward Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) was there to redirect the shot in past DiCesare to break the scoreless tie.
The Lyons answered at 53:16 as junior forward Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) sent the ball in off a penalty corner injection. After a couple of passes at the top of the arc, the ball landed back on the stick of Wagner, who shot it in toward the left side. Sophomore midfielder Sophie Perekslis (Millerton, N.Y./Berkshire School) was there at the post to tip it in for the equalizer.
Both teams had a number of outstanding opportunities in the first overtime session as the Lyons opened the stanza with three straight corners. Perekslis had a great chance on the third corner, but a foul on the play negated the effort down low.
Wellesley also had a great chance with less than a minute remaining as Peterson sent a quick shot in on DiCesare that was initially saved. The ball rebounded right back out to Peterson, but her second effort arched up over the goal.
Both goalkeepers played an outstanding game as Wellesley's Lucy Hurlock (Needham, Mass./Buckingham Browne & Nichols) had five stops. DiCesare recorded 14 stops in the loss – her second highest total this season. MHC also saw sophomore midfielder Kathryn Rawson (Old Town, Maine/Old Town) notch a defensive save.
The Lyons return to action next Saturday, traveling to Clark for a 1pm NEWMAC match. The Blue return to the field on Tuesday, hosting St. Joseph's (Maine) at 4pm.