SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior forward Charlotte Wagner scored a game-best three goals to lead the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 6-2 victory over Castleton University on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the #20 Lyons move to 1-2 on the season, while the Spartans slip to 2-2 overall.
MHC opened up a 2-0 lead in the first half of action as Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) got things going in the 18th minute off a loose ball that came from junior forward Sophie Perekslis (Millerton, N.Y./Berkshire School). A tight scrum in front of the goal saw Perekslis just get her stick on the ball, sending the ball into the middle as Wagner sent it into the left corner.
Sophomore midfielder Mirjam Keochakian (Hamburg, Germany/Deerfield Academy) made it a 2-0 advantage less than two minutes later with her first collegiate tally. Off an injection on the corner by Wagner to the top of the circle, Keochakian stepped just inside the circle and rifled a shot in down the middle, which deflected off a Castleton defender and in for the score.
The Lyons held the visitors to a 13-1 margin in shots for the opening 35 minutes, including an 11-3 edge in penalty corners.
Mount Holyoke opened the second half in similar fashion as Wagner scored just 54 seconds into the frame off a feed from Perekslis, who earned her second assist minutes later. Sending a pass from the right side, Perekslis found junior captain and forward Kaitlin Braz (Tolland, Conn./East Catholic), who batted it down and into the left side of the goal for the 4-0 advantage.
In the 48th minute, the Lyons once again found the goal as a beautiful pass from Braz across the circle found Wagner at mid-center. She quickly one-timed the shot down the middle and past the Castleton keeper for the hat trick.
Senior forward Maura Anderson (Newcastle, Maine/North Yarmouth Academy) netted what would end up the final goal for the Lyons. Set up by a great pass from Perekslis, Anderson clipped the ball at the left corner into the goal for the 6-0 lead.
Castleton sophomore forward Sarah Wells (Bellows Falls, Vt./Bellows Falls) answered for the Spartans less than seven seconds following the Lyons goal. On an outstanding individual effort, Wells split the MHC defense and sent a shot in on goal. Keeper Ally Tessier (Coventry, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey School) attempted the kick save, but was unable to make the stop.
The Spartans edged closer in the 67th minute with a great penalty corner goal. Junior forward Emily Lowell (Brandon, Vt./Otter Valley) sent a perfect injection toward the top of the net, where junior midfielder Rachel Holland (Bennington, Vt./Mount Anthony) waited, rifling the ball in through traffic for the score.
Mount Holyoke's defense held strong over the final three minutes of the contest to seal the squad's first win of the season. The Lyons held a 24-7 advantage in shots for the game, while also owning a 21-4 margin in penalty corners.
In goal, Tessier earned the victory as she surrendered a goal but did not have any saves. Sophomore Riani Booysen (Pretoria, South Africa/Afrikaanse Hoer Meisieskool) came on for the final 4:16, also surrendering a goal with no saves.
For Castleton, junior Leah Holland (Bennington, Vt./Mount Anthony) shouldered the loss tiwht a nine save effort over 47:21 of action. Senior Meeghan Doris (New Milford, Conn./New Milford) played the final 22:39 with four stops.
Mount Holyoke returns to the field on Wednesday when it hosts Williams College at 7pm. Castleton is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Plymouth State at 4pm.
Photo courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.