THE MATCHUP: Another exciting season of Mount Holyoke soccer kicks off Saturday as the Lyons welcome the Bison of Nichols College. In the all-time series, it is a 1-1-0 mark between the two squads. This is the first meeting since the 2003 season. The Lyons claimed victory in the first meeting (1-0 in 2002), while the Bison posted the most recent win (2-1 in 2003).
THE MOUNT HOLYOKE LYONS: Mount Holyoke (0-0, 0-0 NEWMAC) jumps into 2012 after posting a 5-11-0 record last fall. Returning for sixth year head coach Kanae Haneishi are several strong performers from a season ago, including sophomore Hannah Yee, who notched a team-best six goals for a squad-high 13 points. Also back on offense are seniors Kiana Lussier (3g, 2a) and Mallory Phaneuf (1g, 5a), who each added eight and seven points respectively during the 2011 campaign. Meanwhile, sophomore netminder Mackenzie Randall returns to her duties as netminder, having played in over 706 minutes last fall for the Lyons. Mount Holyoke will once again see Veronica Farmer in the captains role for the second season. She is joined in the top leadership role by Lussier and junior Katie Dupuis.
THE NICHOLS BISON: Nichols (0-0, 0-0 CCC) made its fourth consecutive postseason appearance in 2011 following a 6-8-2 and a 2-5-2 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Bison return 14 student-athletes from a year ago, including senior goalkeeper Maureen Lynch as well as a trio of backs in junior Shelby Aminti, Julie Monroe and graduate student Kimberly Cummings. Lynch, who spent every minute of the 2011 campaign in net for the Bison, ranked in the top five in the conference in a number of categories, including saves (66) and saves per game (7.33).
NEXT UP: Mount Holyoke is back in action on Thursday, when it hosts Elms College at 6:00pm. Meanwhile, Nichols plays host to Emmanuel (MA) on Tuesday at 4:00pm.