SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team saw three different players record four goals apiece as the Lyons posted their first win of the season in a 15-8 victory against Westfield State University on Thursday evening. With the win, the Lyons improve to 1-1, while the Owls slip to 0-1 on the young season.
It was a tight battle to open the game as Westfield State rallied from a 2-0 deficit behind back-to-back scores in less than a minute by junior midfielder Blair Smith (Milford, Mass./Milford) and classmate Samantha Lungarini (Agawam, Mass./Agawam) to tie the game.
Lyons' junior Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson), who was one of four players in the game to notch four tallies, pushed MHC ahead with 20:07 to go in the opening half, but Smith rebounded for the Owls, firing a free position goal past Lyons' goalie Isa Rodriguez (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville School) to make it 3-all.
Mount Holyoke quickly built up momentum as Bell ripped the go-ahead goal on the man-up advantage into the back of the net at 11:33. That tally triggered a run for the Lyons, who went on a 6-0 tear over the final nine minutes of the stanza for a 10-3 advantage. Attacker Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), who had four goals and an assist in the game, had a pair of back-to-back goals during the run, while senior midfielder Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford), also had a pair of consecutive scores.
In the second half, the Owls rebounded early as junior attack Meg Griffin (Granby, Conn./Granby) scooped up a ground ball and split her way down the middle for a low shot past Rodriguez. Mount Holyoke bounced back with a pair of goals, including the first career tally by first year Leila Kouakou (Leeds, Mass./Northampton).
A pair of goals off the stick of Kilburn made it a 14-5 game with 14:49 to play and Mount Holyoke continued to control the pace of the game throughout the majority of the second stanza. Ryan netted a man-up goal with 4:51 on the clock, but Griffin answered for the Owls as she scored three goals over the final 3:39 to pull Westfield State to within seven (15-8).
Despite the momentum, the Owls could not get any closer as the Lyons held onto the ball for the last 38 seconds of the contest to secure their first win of the season.
For Mount Holyoke, Ryan and Bell both posted four goals and an assist each. Kilburn recorded four goals, while sophomore attack Katherine Guinee (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) had a goal and two assists. Sophomore attack Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) had a goal and an assist as well. Between the pipes, Rodriguez made seven stops for the victory.
Westfield State was led by Griffin, who had four goals. Smith added two tallies, while Lungarini and first year midfielder Samantha Coyle (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) each had a goal. In net, junior Mimi Khampaeng (Hampden, Mass./Minnechaug) made nine saves over 50:03 minutes of action. Sophomore Alanah Melanson (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) suffered the loss, stopping two shots in 9:57.
The Lyons held a 32-22 edge in shots and also owned a 23-18 advantage in ground balls. MHC also notched an 18-6 margin on the draw control, while also going 3-of-5 on extra-man opportunities and 5-of-8 on free position attempts. The Owls were 12-28 on the clear, while MHC was 10-14.
Mount Holyoke returns to the field on Saturday when it hosts Bridgewater State at 1pm. Westfield State is now idle until Tuesday when it squares off against Nazareth at 8pm in Clermont, Fla.