WELLESLEY, Mass. - Aided by six second-half goals, the Wellesley College lacrosse team was able to pull away for an 11-8 victory over Mount Holyoke College in the quarterfinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament. With the victory, the third-seeded Blue improve to 9-4 and advance to next Saturday's Semifinals in Springfield, where they will face second-seeded MIT. The Lyons conclude their 2015 season with a 6-10 overall mark.
Mount Holyoke appearance in Saturday's quarterfinals marks the 20th in program history over the last 22 years. The Lyons lone years out were 2011 and 2012.
It was a close battle to open the contest as sophomore attack Charlotte Wagner scored just 24:30 into the contest. Wellesley's Mary Lemay tied it seconds later, but goals from senior midfielder Kirsten Kilburn and Wagner gave the visitors a 3-1 edge with 18:34 to play in the opening half.
The Blue saw Nikki Sharkin record back-to-back tallies over a two minute span to once again tie the game, but Kilburn answered once more at 12:20 for the 4-3 MHC lead. A goal from Mayu Kikuchi and another by Sharkin turned it back in Wellesley's favor, 5-4 with 7:52 to go, but a goal from junior attacker Catherine Ryan at 1:23 sent both teams into halftime locked in a 5-5 draw.
Kilburn opened the second half scoring, putting the Lyons up 6-5 at 26:26, but the Blue would go on a 5-0 run over an 11-minute span to grab a 10-6 lead. Sharkin had a pair of goals in the run, while Claire Canty had a goal and an assist.
The Lyons got two back as Kilburn and first year midfielder Leila Kouakou each scored on the free position, but it was as close as Mount Holyoke would get as Wellesley's Jenny Gubner scored in the closing seconds with a free position of her own for the 11-8 final.
Leading the Blue was Sharkin, who recorded a game-best five goals. Lemay added a pair, while Canty posted a goal and a game-high three assists. In goal, Chelsey Hooker picked up the victory with four saves.
For the Lyons, Kilburn finished with four goals, a game-high four draw controls, a game-best five ground balls and a caused turnover. Wagner added two goals, with Ryan and Kouakou adding the other tallies. Sophomore keeper Isa Rodriguez finished with seven stops.
Wellesley held a 22-17 shot advantage, while MHC owned the edge in ground balls (17-16) and draw controls (12-9).