NORTHAMPTON, Mass.— A six-goal effort from first year Julia Bell and the 100th career goal for senior Molly Macdonald highlighted the afternoon as the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team defeated longtime-rival, Smith College, 17-6 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) on Tuesday afternoon. The Lyons improve to 10-3 and move into a three-way tie for second-place in the conference standings. The Pioneers are now 3-11 and 0-5 in league play.
The Lyons, who have one game remaining in the regular season schedule, are currently tied with Springfield and Babson – all with a 3-2 mark. MHC beat Springfield to open the NEWMAC slate, but has yet to face the Beavers and will do so on Saturday at 1pm in Babson Park. The Lyons are guaranteed a spot in the NEWMAC Playoffs which will be their first appearance since 2010.
Mount Holyoke jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on the strength of goals from Catherine Ryan, Kirsten Kilburn, and Bell, but Smith responded with Kate Detrick's first of the game to make it a 3-1 contest with 20:19 left in the first half.
Ryan, Macdonald, and Bell scored the next three before Detrick beat MHC 'keeper Liz Malenfant on a free position effort with 12:58 on the clock.
The Lyons surged ahead with five straight goals, as Bell netted a pair of unassisted tallies, and Ryan, Kanno, and Kilburn also scored. Detrick and Ryan traded goals with two minutes left in the first half to send MHC into halftime with a 12-3.
Macdonald opened the second half with two goals, including the 100th of her career at the 28:12 mark, but Smith continued to respond as Jessica Lillquist tallied with 24:16 to play. Macdonald added her third tally of the game soon after.
Back-to-back goals from Detrick cut the Smith deficit to 15-6, but two more tallies by Bell closed out the action.
In addition to Bell, who also had two assists, MHC saw Macdonald chip in with three goals. She now has 101 career goals with 15 assists for 116 points. Kilburn added two goals and two assists with game-bests in both ground balls (4) and draw controls (9). Malenfant recorded 11 stops in the victory, which moves her to 10-2 on the season.
For Smith, Detrick finished with five goals, while Lillquist added the other tally. Savannah Lawson made nine saves in net for Smith.
Smith will resume play when the Pioneers host UMass-Dartmouth at 4:30 on Thursday. Mount Holyoke will close out the regular season with a trip to Babson College at 1 pm on Saturday.
Photo of Bell courtesy of Doug Keller.