SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - A goal in each half, aided by a strong defensive effort, paced the Mount Holyoke College field hockey team to a 2-1 non-conference win over Wesleyan University on Wednesday evening. The victory moves the homestanding Lyons to 5-2 on the season, while the visiting Cardinals slip to 2-3 overall.
After an opening battle that saw solid defensive efforts on both ends of the field, Mount Holyoke finally broke the scoreless tie at 34:23. Dribbling the ball into the circle, senior captain Kaitlin Braz (Tolland, Conn./East Catholic) fired off a rocket shot into the front of the goal. Classmate and fellow captain Sophie Perekslis (Millerton, N.Y./Berkshire School) charged in down the middle, redirecting the ball in for the go-ahead tally and a Lyons advantage heading into halftime.
The early opening of the second stanza was loaded with chances as each team benefited from a number of penalty corner attempts. Wesleyan nearly tied the game at 39:09 as senior forward CiCi Frattasio (Walpole, Mass./Middlesex School) came into the middle and was in the perfect position as the ball shot in, but she redirected it just over the net.
MHC also benefitted from back-to-back corners, beginning at the 57:54 mark. Cardinals' goalie Delaney Wood (Winslow, Maine/Winslow) made a key save on the first attempt by senior captain Kathryn Rawson (Old Town, Maine/Old Town), but on the ensuing corner, junior midfielder Mirjam Keochakian (Hamburg, Germany/Deerfield Academy) rocketed a shot into the middle, which was tipped in on the right side by classmate Kristina Ramsden (Florence, Mass./Northampton) for the 2-0 edge.
Wesleyan refused to back down though, taking advantage of each miscue by the Lyons in front enroute to earn four straight penalty corners - three of which saw first year midfielder Amy Schaap (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa/Durban Girls' College) get a direct shot on goal that was kick saved by sophomore Morgan Turner (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham).
As time began to expire rapidly on the clock, the Cardinals finally snuck one past Turner. With 11 seconds remaining, Frattasio found the ball through heavy traffic in front, knocking it in past the MHC keeper's reach.
In goal for MHC, Turner posted her fifth win of the season with a five-save effort. Wood was outstanding for the Cardinals, posting 12 saves on the night, while senior defender Lily Ardente (Providence, Rhode Island/Moses Brown School) made a defensive stop.
The Lyons owned a 22-14 advantage in shots, while the visiting Cardinals grabbed the edge in penalty corners, including seven in the second half, for an 11-9 margin.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as Mount Holyoke travels to NEWMAC-rival MIT for a 3pm showdown, while Wesleyan is home against NESCAC-foe Bates at 12pm.