SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior captain and attacker Catherine Ryan recorded a game-high eight assists to help the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team to a 17-3 victory over the United States Coast Guard Academy in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Lyons move to 2-8 overall and 1-4 in conference play, while the Bears slip to 2-10 and 0-5 in the NEWMAC.
Ryan also bested her own mark for assists in a game with her eight helpers. Her previous mark of six, which was tied with three other players, occurred in 2015 in a 15-14 overtime loss to Western New England. She is currently the all-time leader in career assists (146), assists in a season (47) and assists in a game (8).
Mount Holyoke jumped out to a quick advantage in the contest, scoring seven straight goals. Junior attack Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa./Westtown School) opened the flurry at 27:35, followed by the first of five goals in the contest from senior attack and captain Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) at the 22:05 mark after converting a bullet pass from Ryan at the right corner.
Mid-way through the frame, Ryan pushed it to a 3-0 lead after senior defender Nicole Perkins (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) scooped up the loose ball on a failed clear and sent a direct pass up. Bell and Ryan converted once again less than 30 seconds later, followed by a pair of goals from sophomore midfielder Leila Kouakou (Leeds, Mass./Northampton), who converted two passes from behind the net by Ryan to make it a 6-0 game.
Wagner pushed the advantage to 7-0 with 2:04 to play in the stanza, but the Bears broke onto the scoreboard with 52 seconds remaining as sophomore attack Cecelia Hosley (Chester, Conn.) picked up a loose ball at the top of the arc and split the defense for a shot into the high left corner.
The second half opened with another goal by Bell from Ryan, but Coast Guard cut the deficit to 8-2 at 27:25 after sophomore midfielder Jackie Kokomoor (Groton, Conn.) sprinted down the middle before cutting left and sending a shot in over the goalie's shoulder.
Both teams saw their netminders make several outstanding saves as Bears sophomore Angel Fay (Culver, Ind.) stopped a point-blank, 1-on-1 shot by Lyons midfielder Haley Subocz (Northampton, Mass./Northampton) at 26:38, while seconds later, MHC's Isa Rodriguez (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville School) fended off a close range shot from Kokomoor.
MHC continued to pull away though as back-to-back scores from Bell pushed it to a 10-2 lead with 22:53 to play. Coast Guard would grab one back as sophomore attack Daria McKenna (Mystic, Conn.) navigated in from the top of the circle, cutting down the middle through the defense for a shot into the left side.
The Lyons proved too strong, going on a 7-0 run over the final 16:10 of the contest which included the first career goals for first years Mazzie Meotti (South Glastonbury, Conn./Watkinson School), Deyscha Smith (Boston, Mass./Academy of the Pacific Rim) and Morgan McNamara (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley).
Bell led the Lyons offensive effort with a game-best five goals, while Wagner posted four. Kouakou added three goals with three draw control wins to go along with Ryan's goal and eight assists. MHC also saw a solid defensive effort as they held a 21-14 edge in ground balls and a 10-6 advantage in caused turnovers. Sophomore Kaitlin Braz (Tolland, Conn./East Catholic) posted a goal and a game-best two caused turnovers, while classmate Julia Lankin (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) added three draw controls and a caused turnover.
In goal, Rodriguez made six saves over 46:35 of action, while sophomore Clarissa Leight (Austin, Texas/Liberal Arts & Science Academy) stopped two shots over the final 13:25.
For the Bears, Fay stopped eight shots, while McKenna, Kokomoor and Hosley added the goals.
Both teams return to NEWMAC action this weekend with Mount Holyoke heading to MIT and Coast Guard traveling to Wellesley. Start time for both games is 1pm.