SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Smith College lacrosse team held off a late comeback effort, defeating Mount Holyoke College by an 8-6 margin in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening. The win moves the Pioneers to 9-7 with a 3-4 conference mark, while the Lyons slip to 7-8 and 2-5 in the NEWMAC.
The visiting Pioneers jumped out to an early advantage as first year midfielder Reese Gittelman (Ocean City, Md./Worcester Preparatory) buried a nice feed from senior attack Chloe Harris (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) at the 28:38 mark. Smith gained a 2-0 advantage just over a minute later as senior captain Emily Biggs (Florence, Mass./Northampton) picked up the loose ball following a scramble in front and buried it.
Mount Holyoke countred at the 22:13 mark though as first year attack Abby Baldwin (Florence, Mass./Northampton) scored her first of the contest and 56th tally on the season. The Lyons tied the match at 2-all with 18:41 on the clock as sophomore attack Meryl Phair (Stockbridge, Mass./Monument Mountain Regional) netted a free position of her own.
Despite the momentum, the Lyons saw the Pioneers rebound quickly as Biggs recorded back-to-back goals, followed by a free position marker with 30 seconds left by sophomore midfielder Bryn Murray (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) for a 6-2 lead at halftime.
Second half action opened in a big way for the Lyons as Baldwin recorded back-to-back goals less than 53 seconds apart at 23:55 to cut the deficit to 6-4. Both goals were assisted by junior captain Julianna Rankin (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis), who then scored on the free position at 18:49 to close the gap further at 6-5.
The Pioneers countered with 6:46 to play as senior attack Clelie Fielding (Francestown, N.H./High Mowing) made it a 2-goal edge (7-5), but the Lyons struck back once more as Rankin converted an outstanding pass from Baldwin at 6:29 to make it a 7-6 game. Gittelman scored her second of the contest with 2:41 to go, putting the visitors back up by two (8-6) and despite a lengthy possession, MHC was unable to get any further.
Smith was paced by Biggs, who scored three goals, added five ground balls, four draw controls and a game-best six caused turnovers. Gittelman added two goals and two assists with two ground balls, two draw controls and a caused turnover, while Murray had a goal and an assist, also adding five ground balls with four draw controls. In goal, first year Alyssa Schams (South Lyon, Mich./South Lyon) posted the victory, stopping seven shots on the night.
For Mount Holyoke, Baldwin had three goals and an assist with five ground balls, a draw control and a caused turnover. Rankin added two goals and two assists with five ground balls and two draw controls, while junior defender Kathryn Violette (Yokosuka City, Japan/Yokohama International School) also recorded a game-best five ground balls. In goal, junior Mia Wysocki (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) shouldered the loss with seven saves.
Smith owned a 20-16 edge in shots for the contest, while both squads tied with a 27-27 margin in ground balls. The Pioneers also had a 10-6 margin in draw controls, while MHC went 3-5 and Smith was 2-3 on the free position.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Babson at 12pm in the final regular season contest for both teams. The game also marks Senior Day for the Lyons three members of the Class of 2019. Smith will also hosts its regular season finale and Senior Day on Saturday, welcoming MIT at 12pm.