SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – First year attack Brooke Sabol scored with 6:45 remaining in the contest and the tally proved to be the game-winner as Wheaton College held on late for a 10-9 victory over Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) lacrosse action on Saturday.
With the win, the Wheaton Lyons improve to 7-5 on the year and remain perfect atop the conference standings with a 5-0 mark. The MHC Lyons suffer just their third loss of the season and are now 9-3 overall and 2-2 in NEWMAC play.
It was a tight battle right from the opening draw as neither team led by more than two goals in the contest. Wheaton opened the scoring with three straight goals, including back-to-back tallies by Sabol (Landgrove, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) to get things going. Mount Holyoke quickly answered as senior attack Molly Macdonald (Milton, Mass./Milton Academy) fired off three straight to tie it at 3-all with 6:49 to play.
Less than a minute later, sophomore midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) gave the home team its first lead and a follow-up goal by first year middie Julie Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) made it a 5-4 advantage with 2:17 left on the clock. Despite the momentum, MHC found itself tied at halftime with Wheaton as junior attack Charlotte De Santis (Darien, Conn./Cushing Academy) rifled in a pair of goals to make it a 6-6 game.
Kilburn pushed MHC back ahead to open the second half, but Wheaton stole the momentum back as Sabol added her third of the game and sophomore midfielder Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) scored a pair of her own to give the visitors a 9-7 lead.
First year midfielder Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) cut the deficit to one (9-8) with 9:10 on the clock, converting a pass from Bell, but Sabol's tally off a feed from Sharick gave Wheaton a two-goal edge (10-8) with just over six minutes to play.
Macdonald, who posted a game-best four goals, was able to get MHC within 10-9 after she corralled a pass from Bell for a high shot over the shoulder of netminder Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass./Belmont), but the homestanding Lyons could not maintain possession to grab the equalizer in the final 1:24.
MHC had a chance with 1:19 on the clock as senior captain Katya Planson (New Gloucester, Maine/Hebron Academy) scooped up a loose ball off a turnover, but the opportunity was lost as the home Lyons lost the ball on a misplayed clear in the final minute.
Sabol led the Wheaton offense with a game-best four goals. De Santis chipped in with three goals and two assists, while Sharick also had three goals with one helper. Ananian made six saves in goal to move to 7-4 overall.
For Mount Holyoke, Macdonald recorded four goals, while Bell added a pair of tallies and a game-best four assists. Kilburn had two goals while Ryan had a goal and two helpers. In the pipes, Malenfant made six saves and is now 9-2 on the season.
The game marked Senior Day for Mount Holyoke as it recognized its seven seniors of the Class of 2013. This year's seniors included Macdonald, Planson, Malenfant, Christina Horimoto (San Jose, Calif./Leland), Mary Webster (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth Academy) and Lindsey Kanno (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East).
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Tuesday when it plays at Smith at 4:30pm. Wheaton is right back in action on Sunday in a 1pm contest against Drew.
Photo below of the MHC Senior Class and its families taken by Samantha Campagna '14.