SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – A two-goal second half broke open a tight game as the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team defeated Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday evening.
The victory moves the Lyons to 9-5 overall and 4-2 in conference play, while the Engineers slip to 4-9 and are now 0-6 in the NEWMAC. MHC has now shutout its opponent by a 6-0 margin over the last four games.
Mount Holyoke opened the game's scoring quickly as junior forward Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) scored at 4:31. Senior forward Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) earned the assist on the play, firing a shot in that rebounded out to the stick of Wagner.
The WPI defense, backed by senior keeper and captain Lauren Puishys (Oxford, Mass./Oxford), held the line for the remainder of the half as MHC posted an 8-2 shot advantage. Puishys notched five saves in the opening stanza.
Sophomore midfielder Sophie Perekslis (Millerton, N.Y./Berkshire School) made it a 2-0 lead at 42:37 of the second half. Wagner started the play, firing in a goal that was knocked down in front by WPI's SarahRose Gabor (Cazenovia, N.Y./Cazenovia). The ball came loose to first year middie Colby Newsham (Harvard, Mass./Bromfield School), who made the short pass to Perekslis for the tally in front.
The Engineers had a solid opportunity as junior forward Allie Buckley (Worcester, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) found herself in a one-on-one with MHC keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin). Buckly fired in a shot, but DiCesare made a great kick save to push it out of danger.
Bell closed out the scoring at 56:53 on a great individual effort. Collecting the loose ball, the senior dribbled the ball from the middle and around the right side, before firing a shot that blazed past Puishys.
Mount Holyoke finished the contest with an 18-6 advantage in shots, going 11-4 on penalty corners. DiCesare posted the win for the Lyons, stopping four shots to improve to 9-5 and earn her NEWMAC-leading sixth shutout of the season. Puishys had a number of outstanding saves, stopping 11 in total for the Engineers.
Both teams return to action on Thursday as Mount Holyoke hosts Western New England (7pm), while WPI is at Anna Maria (4pm).