SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Powered by a five goal effort from both Leila Mills and Brooke Sabol, the Wheaton College lacrosse team defeated Mount Holyoke College, 15-8 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both teams. With the victory, Wheaton moves to 4-4, while MHC slips to 3-4.
It was a close game in the opening half as Mount Holyoke jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind scores from sophomore Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Academy) and senior captain Naomi Miller (Augusta, Maine/Cony) in the opening seven minutes. Wheaton countered as Sabol (Landgrove, Vt./Burr & Burton Academy) scored at 23:06 and the visitors went on to make it a 3-3 game as Mills (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) and Sabol went back-to-back.
With 13 seconds to play in the first half, Mount Holyoke gained the edge as junior captain Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) slipped one by keeper Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) for the 4-3 lead.
The second half belong to Wheaton as the visiting Lyons went on a 7-0 run to grab a 10-4 advantage over the home team. Mills had a pair of tallies during the run, while sophomore attack Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) had a goal and three assists during the span.
Mount Holyoke struck back as senior Liz Randolph (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) notched back-to-back tallies, but a pair of goals from Mills, including one that came off a nice shot down the middle through traffic, helped keep Wheaton in control.
Sophomore attack Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) cut the deficit with 1:36 on the clock, but it wasn't enough as the visitors held possession throughout the remainder of the frame.
In addition to her five goals, Sabol also recorded two assists. Junior attack Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) added three goals, while Bush finished with a goals and a game-best four assists. Picking up the win in goal was Ananian, who stopped six shots.
For Mount Holyoke, Kilburn paced the way with two goals and two helpers. Bell and Randolph each had two goals and an assist, while Ryan chipped in with a goal and a helper. Additionally, Bell recorded a game-best four caused turnovers.
The Lyons saw first year netminder Isa Rodriguez (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville School) make eight saves over the first 36:28 before giving way to sophomore Katherine Kayser-Hirsh (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional), who made six saves in 23:32 of relief.
Wheaton led the shot margin by a 35-21 advantage and also held a 20-14 edge in ground balls. MHC held a slim lead in draw controls, 12-11.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Westfield State at 5pm. Wheaton is also in action on Wednesday, hosting Amherst at 6pm.