NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - Powered by a game-best five goal effort from senior captain Julia Bell, the Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team wrapped-up its 2016 season with a 12-10 win at Smith College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Wednesday evening.
First-year Chloe Harris and sophomore Julia Hamilton led the Pioneers with three goals apiece, while senior Ray Silveria added two goals and one assist in her final game. Silveria finishes her career with 164 points on 123 goals and 41 assists. Goalkeeper Sarah Price made seven saves in the loss.
For the Lyons, senior midfielder Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) netted a game-high five goals and leads the conference with 49 tallies. She also added a game-best four ground balls. Sophomore midfielder Leila Kouakou (Leeds, Mass./Northampton) and senior captain and attack Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) each registered five points, while junior keeper Isa Rodriguez (Columbus, Ohio/Westerville School) stopped seven shots. Sophomore midfield/defender Julia Lankin (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) also had a solid effort with a game-high four draw controls.
The Lyons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the game's first 3:02 on goals by Ryan, Charlotte Wagner and Bell. The Pioneers responded with two goals as Caroline Myran took a feed from Silveria and Hamilton also connected on a pass from Silveria to cut the lead to 3-2 with 24:31 on the clock.
Another three goal run by the visitors put them ahead 6-2 before both teams exchanged goals to make it 7-3 with 18:03 remaining in the second half. Hamilton went on to score two in a row for the Pioneers before the Lyons answered, yet again, with three straight before Smith closed the half on a pair of goals for a 10-7 MHC lead at the half.
Two goals by the Pioneers saw the home team cut the deficit to one (10-9) just 2:20 into the second period but Mount Holyoke would score the game's only goals over the next 15 minutes for a slim 12-9 lead. Chloe Harris made things interesting as she found the back of the net with 1:51 to go but the Lyon's goalkeeper came up with a big save to halt any chances of a comeback.
The visitors had a 23-21 advantage in shots for the contest, also holding a 19-14 edge in ground balls. Smith held a 13-11 margin in draw controls.
For Mount Holyoke, Bell and Ryan both concluded their outstanding careers as two of the best players in program history. Ryan is the all-time leader in career assists (155) and owns the record for assists in a season (47) and helpers in a single game (8). She is also just the sixth player in program history to reach 200 career points, ranking fourth all-time (227) after having started all 63 games in her career.
For Bell, she is only the second player in Mount Holyoke history to record 200 career goals. She has 213 all-time tallies, which ranks second in program history. She also ranks second all-time in career points, posting 287 over 59 total games played. Additionally, Bell owns the top three marks for points in a game, including a 13 point (9g/4a) effort in 2014, while owning the second-best mark for goals in a season (71) set in 2014.
Smith ends their season with an overall record of 5-11 and 1-7 mark in conference play, while Mount Holyoke finishes 3-11 and 2-6 in the NEWMAC.
Portions of the game release courtesy of Smith College Sports Information.