SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Seven different players found the back of the net to lead the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team to a 19-5 non-conference win over New England College on Saturday at the MHC Turf Field. The Lyons improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Pilgrims are now 0-1.
The home team opened the game's scoring as first year Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson), sophomore Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) and junior Brianne Phelan (Quincy, Mass./Quincy) all scored to make it a 3-0 edge just 25:02 into the contest.
New England College battled back as senior attack Sarah Merrill (Dover, N.H./Dover) cut into the middle through traffic for a clean shot past the reach of Lyons netminder Liz Malenfant (Nantucket, Mass./White Mountain School (N.H.), but it wasn't enough to hold off the Mount Holyoke momentum.
The Lyons opened up a scoring flurry with 19:49 to play as Bell scored the second of her five goals in the game to start an 8-0 run. Senior attack Molly Macdonald (Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) quickly followed with the first of her five goals, while Kilburn added two more – one on the free position and the other a nice unassisted tally off a great cut inside.
Mount Holyoke's scorers also got outstanding support during the run as four of the eight tallies were assisted, including two by first year midfielder Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), who also chipped in with a goal. The Pilgrims were able to cut the deficit to 10-2 on solo score by junior midfielder Eleni Hatsis (Norwalk, Conn./Brien McMahon), but the Lyons headed into halftime with the eight-goal advantage.
In the second half, the two teams traded goals to open things up, but the Lyons quickly took control with six consecutive goals. Macdonald had a pair during the span, while Bell's fourth of the contest gave the home team a 10-goal differential to start a running clock with 22:16 left to play.
Mount Holyoke held a 17-3 advantage with 16:32 on the clock, but New England College refused to back down as Hatsis notched back-to-back tallies to pull the visitors to within 12 (17-5). The Lyons then tacked on two more tallies from Bell and Kilburn to close out the game's scoring.
For MHC, Bell had five goals and three assist, while also chipping in with three ground balls and four draw controls. MacDonald also had five goals with two assists in the game. Kilburn recorded four goals with a game-best five draw controls and two caused turnovers, while Ryan added two tallies and a game-high four assists. In goal, Malenfant recorded the win with three saves in 40:25 minutes played. Sophomore Aune Mitchell (Ridgefield, Conn./ Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.) made two stops in 19:35 minutes of relief.
The Pilgrims saw Hatsis tally three goals, while Merrill and first year attack Gabriella Bigos (Branford, Conn./Branford) had a goal apiece. Between the pipes, senior Rebecca Harvey (Natick, Mass./Natick) made four saves.
For the game, Mount Holyoke had a 29-12 advantage in shots. The Lyons also posted a 22-13 margin in ground balls and a 20-6 edge in draw controls.
The Lyons are now idle until March 18 when they take on UMass-Dartmouth in a 10am contest in Clermont, Fla. The Pilgrims return to action on March 15, hosting Sage College at 4pm.
Photo of Malenfant courtesy of Frank Poulin Sports Photography. Purchase game photos at frankpoulin.smugmug.com