SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Western New England University put up 12 goals in the opening half and held off a late rally by Mount Holyoke College for a 16-14 non-conference win on Tuesday evening at the MHC Turf Field. With the victory, the Golden Bears remain perfect at 5-0, while the homestanding Lyons slip to 1-3 on the young season.
WNE opened with a strong charge and held a 12-6 advantage through the first 30 minutes of the game. The Golden Bears came out strong in the second stanza, notching four straight to hold a 16-6 advantage. Leading the way was sophomore attack Taylor Scialdone (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Lakeland), who recorded three in the game and the visitors third of the second half.
Despite the 10-goal disadvantage, the homestanding Lyons continued to fight and rattled off eight straight goals over the final 21:34 to cut the deficit to 16-14 with 10:20 remaining the contest. Sophomore attack Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) led the charge, scoring three of her game-high six goals during the stretch, including an off-angled shot from around the cage with 11:17 to go.
A marker from junior captain and midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) at the 10:20 mark closed the gap to two goals, but despite several chances late, the Lyons could not score the equalizer. Kilburn had another strong attempt, earning a free position tally with 3:16 to play, but her shot sailed wide over the net.
MHC got the ball back with 1:26 to play as Bell scooped up the loose ball, but could not hold on as WNE got the ball back on a caused turnover. The Lyons had a last effort in the closing seconds, but were called for a foul, giving the Golden Bears the possession back, which they held on to over the final 15 seconds of the game.
Western New England opened the game with a flourish as three of the first four goals came off the stick of sophomore attack Brooke Kumnick (Granby, Conn./Granby Memorial). MHC was able to close the gap to 4-2 as Bell and first year attack Katherine Guinee (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) each scored, but the Golden Bears struck again as junior attack Kaitlynn Stevens (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) score the first of her team-best four goals at the 20:52 mark.
The Golden Bears then scored six of the next eight goals, including two from Scialdone and three from Stevens to take the advantage into halftime.
For WNE, Stevens added three assists in the contest, while Scialdone finished with three goals and two assists. Kumnick added three tallies, while senior midfielder Shely Trebbe (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) chipped in with two goals and an assist.
Bell led the Lyons, adding two assists to go with her goals, which gives her 22 tallies on the season. Kilburn finished with three goals, while sophomore attack Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) posted a goal and a game-best five assists.
In the battle of the goalies, Golden Bears junior Emily Castleman (Wilbraham, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) improved to 5-0, stopping seven shots. Her counterpart, first year Isa Rodriguez (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville School) made five saves in the loss for the Lyons.
For the game, WNE held a 29-28 advantage in shots and an 11-10 clip in ground balls. Mount Holyoke owned an 18-14 edge in draw controls.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on March 17 when it takes on Clarkson University in a neutral site match to be held in West Palm Beach, Fla. (11:30am). Western New England is back in action on Thursday at Castleton State (4pm).