NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - A close battle throughout found the final margin in favor of Smith College as the Pioneers lacrosse team bested Mount Holyoke, 12-9 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday. Smith moves to 8-6 overall with the victory and are now 3-4 in conference play. The Lyons slip to 3-12 with a 1-6 NEWMAC mark.
An early 1-1 tie was broken up at the 19:10 mark of the opening stanza as Chloe Harris notched back-to-back tallies, and then assisted on Julia Hamilton's marker at 17:51, to give the homestanding Pioneers a 4-1 advantage. Lyons captain Leila Kouakou answered less than two minutes later and first year Meryl Phair - who scored MHC's first goal - brought the visitors to within one (4-3) at 14:19.
Smith pushed the lead back to two seconds later, but Phair came up big once again, followed by tallies from senior Kaitlin Braz and junior Kelly Hammond to grab a 6-5 lead for Mount Holyoke. Despite the momentum, Smith saw Hamilton score with 57 seconds remaining, followed by Harris' third score of the half at 23 seconds, giving the Pioneers a 7-6 lead at the intermission.
In the second stanza, consecutive tallies from Kaitlin Chiu and Harris in the opening four minutes made it 9-6, but a marker from sophomore Reina Torrez-Miner helped close the gap to two (8-6) with 25:17 remaining. Smith answered once again as Caroline Myran notched a pair in an eight-minute span forcing the lead back to 11-7 for the home team.
Mount Holyoke sophomore Julianna Rankin found the back of the net at 5:25, while junior Deyscha Smith scored one of her own three minutes later to cut the deficit to two (11-9). It was as close as the visitors got as the Pioneers notched another tally with 45 seconds to wrap-up the scoring.
Harris paced the effort for the Pioneers, scoring four goals with two assists. Myran added three goals and a helper, while Hamilton had two scores and an assist. In goal, Sarah Price moved to 6-6 with 10 saves.
For MHC, Phair led the way with three goals and an assist. Braz had a goal and an assist, as did Rankin. Hammond, Smith, Torrez-Miner and Kouakou each had one tally. Defending the cage was sophomore Mia Wysocki, who had 11 stops on the night.
The Lyons return to action on Saturday when they close out the regular season schedule at Babson at 3:30pm. Smith concludes its regular season schedule on Saturday as well, traveling to MIT for a 12pm tilt.