SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior forward Charlotte Wagner scored at 7:50 of the first overtime to lift the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 1-0 win over Simmons College in non-conference action on Wednesday evening. With the victory, the Lyons move to 7-4 on the season, while the Sharks slip to 7-6 overall.
Locked in a scoreless battle the two teams headed into overtime with excitement coming from the opening whistle. Simmons nearly got on the board just 2:52 into extra time as junior forward Julie Saltamartini (East Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) found herself in a breakaway toward the Lyons goal.
MHC senior keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass./Bishop Guertin) tracked the ball, but was beaten on her right side. Saltamartini sent a shot in toward the open goal, but the Lyons netminder dove toward goal, stretching for a stick save to keep the match scoreless (WATCH CLIP).
Mount Holyoke finally netted the go-ahead goal following an outstanding effort by Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School), who picked up the ball just in the zone, navigating it toward the end line. Dogged by a defender, she dribbled around to the left, sending a low shot in on goal that went just under the reach of Sharks goalie Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H./Salem) for the game-winner (WATCH CLIP).
The opening half of action saw Mount Holyoke dominate, recording 19 shots, including 12 on goal while holding the visitors to just two. The Lyons tested Rastello early, forcing the keeper to make four saves in the first 7:34 of the match. MHC went on another spurt late in the frame, including three in a row over a 23 second span, but despite a 9-1 edge in penalty corners the home team could not capitalize.
Simmons came out with momentum to open the second half, firing off three quick shots on DiCesare over 20-seconds, just over two minutes into the frame. Saltamartini once again had the best chance for the Sharks, finding herself in a one-on-one situation with the Lyons keeper, who was able to make a quick kick save to thwart the visitors attack.
Mount Holyoke, which held a 29-8 advantage in shots for the contest, including an 18-7 margin on goal, saw DiCesare earn the win with a seven-save effort. Rastello was outstanding for the Sharks, posting 16 saves, including 11 in the open half. Simmons also saw junior defender Eryn Melanson (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex Regional) record a defensive save.
Mount Holyoke is back in action on Saturday at 12pm in a critical NEWMAC match at Babson. Simmons is also on the field on Saturday, hosting Rivier at 11am.