SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Sophomore midfielder Sophie Perekslis scored in the 8th minute of the game and the goal stood as Mount Holyoke College posted a 1-0 win over Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) field hockey action on Saturday afternoon.
The victory, which is the third straight for the Lyons, moves MHC to 8-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play. The Beavers are now 13-2 overall, shouldering their first loss of the season in the NEWMAC to move to 5-1.
Perekslis (Millerton, N.Y./Berkshire School) got the home team on the board at 7:37 after she barreled into the zone and fired a shot at senior goalie Kayla Costa (Watertown, Mass./Watertown). Babson's keeper made a great kick save, but the ball ricocheted right back to Perekslis, who buried it into the open left side.
The Beavers had a number of chances to net the equalizer over the remainder of the first half, but the Lyons defense was outstanding, blocking a number of shots in addition to back-to-back saves in the final minute by junior keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin).
In the second half of action, MHC started out strong as junior Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) fired in a shot that was turned aside by Costa. Babson threatened in the 42nd minute as first year midfielder Ashley Tango's (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) went off the post and the ensuing shot by senior forward Elizabeth Holmes (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) was blocked in front.
Babson, which held a 12-9 differential in shots for the game, had multiple opportunities late in the game as the Beavers were awarded five straight penalty corners. Holmes had the best chance during the span, but DiCesare was able to make the stop. The Beavers also had an open net opportunity but were unable to capitalize as junior midfielder Victoria Spofford (Merrimac, Mass./Pentucket Regional) couldn't connect on a cross at the goal mouth.
The Beavers were awarded their final corner with no time left on the clock and DiCesare and the Lyons defense came up big as MHC's keeper saved a Nicole Smith (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) shot and the blueline moved the ball out of the zone to seal the victory.
DiCesare finished the game with five saves, while her counterpart, Costa also had five stops. Babson held the edge in penalty corners for the contest by a 12-4 margin.
Both teams return to NEWMAC action on Tuesday as Mount Holyoke hosts WPI, while Babson travels to Wheaton. Both matches begin at 7pm.