SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Mar. 2, 2013) – Powered by five straight goals in the final 4:21 of regulation, the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team came-from-behind to force overtime and pull out a 20-19 victory over Skidmore College in the season opener for both teams. The Lyons saw seven different players score in the contest; while the Thoroughbreds had six individuals record at least one goal.
Facing a 16-11 deficit with just over four minutes to play, Mount Holyoke mounted an incredible comeback as first year midfielder Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) tipped in a feed from senior attack Molly Macdonald (Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) to close the gap.
Ryan continued to help the Lyons cause just over a minute later as she fired a pass to junior captain and midfielder Naomi Miller (Augusta, Maine/Cony), who converted it past Skidmore goalie Shelby Witheford (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) at 3:11. First year Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) then added her second tally of the game, capitalizing on the free position at 1:28 to make it a 16-14 game.
Miller then came up with a dramatic goal, unassisted in front with 11 seconds remaining to cut the gap to 16-15, while senior midfielder Lindsey Kanno (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East) came up with the game's biggest goal (which is pictured on the right; Kanno is #22) with one second on the clock. Off the draw at midfield, Kanno raced into the Thoroughbreds zone and sped through traffic, firing an off-angle shot low into the corner to send the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Skidmore jumped out to the quick lead as senior attack Lexi Melville (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset), who had a game-best seven goals, tallied on the free position. Bell responded with her third of the contest off a feed from Ryan, who posted a game-high four assists to even the game at 17-all.
Kanno played the champion once more, scoring her second of the game and giving MHC the 18-17 lead, but Thoroughbreds sophomore Peggy Healy (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) netted an unassisted score of her own to make it an 18-all game with 17 seconds remaining in the first portion of overtime.
Sophomore midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) pushed the home team ahead with 2:47 to play, but Skidmore refused to back down late as first year attack Emma Harris (Mountain Lakes, N.J./Mountain Lakes) fired in a shot on the free position with 1:01 left on the clock.
As time wound down, the Lyons maintained possession in the Skidmore zone and MacDonald netted the go-ahead goal with 26 seconds left, cutting through traffic on the left size for a high shot that sailed into the upper corner.
Skidmore continued to fight with seconds ticking off, but an untimely yellow card against the Thoroughbreds saw a jump ball with .7 seconds left and a Mount Holyoke possession to win it.
For the game, the Lyons saw Kilburn score five goals with two assists. She also added a game-best nine draw controls, which proved critical near the end of the contest and into overtime. Macdonald added four goals with two assists, while Bell had three goals and two helpers. Ryan chipped in with two goals in addition to her game-best four assists and Miller, Kanno and senior attack Christina Horimoto (San Jose, Calif./Leiland) each had two goals. In goal, senior Liz Malenfant (Nantucket, Mass./White Mountain School (N.H.) recorded 14 saves, a majority of which came through the first portion of the second half.
In addition to Melville, sophomore midfielder Spencer Morgan (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) added four goals and an assist, while Harris chipped in with three goals. Junior midfielder Robin Fetterolf (Huntington, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) added two goals and an assist, while Healy and sophomore defender Paige DiAntonio (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) had two goals and a goal, respectively. Witheford recorded one save in the loss for Skidmore.
Skidmore held a 38-27 advantage in shots and also had a 19-12 edge in ground balls. The Thoroughbreds also posted a 22-20 margin in draw controls.
The Lyons are back in action on Tuesday in a 5:30pm contest at Westfield State University. Skidmore returns to the field on Wednesday when it hosts Utica College at 4pm.
Photo courtesy of Frank Poulin Sports Photography.