Led by ninth-year head coach Kanae Haneishi, the Mount Holyoke College soccer team had a banner season in 2015, posting a 9-7-3 record, while going 4-3-3 in NEWMAC play. The Lyons also qualified for the conference tournament, making their first appearance since the 2009 season.
The Lyons opened the season with a 1-2 mark, but quickly rebounded, going 5-0-1 over their next six contests. MHC opened the run with an impressive 2-1 win victory against Bryn Mawr, which saw first year forward Sara Sanaú Ruiz score both tallies. The Lyons went on to beat Western New England with Sanaú Ruiz scoring two of the three MHC goals.
Mount Holyoke opened the NEWMAC schedule in impressive fashion, battling to a 0-0 double-overtime tie against Babson, which saw junior goalie and captain Zoe Marshall record 10 saves. Sanaú Ruiz then put on a goal scoring clinic as the Lyons defeated RPI (3-1) and Emerson (2-0) with the striker net all five of MHC's goals. Mount Holyoke closed out the run with an impressive 9-0 victory against Bay Path as five different players found the back of the net.
Following a pair of tough defeats at the hands of MIT, the Lyons were back in the win column with back-to-back victories. MHC posted 1-0 victories at Clark and Wellesley to improve to 3-1-1 in NEWMAC play. Despite the momentum, Mount Holyoke shouldered a rough stretch soon after, falling to Coast Guard by a 1-0 margin in overtime, before suffering a 2-1 loss against Wheaton in a Battle of the Lyons.
The Lyons followed that up with a 1-0 overtime victory at Springfield, which saw senior forward Ashleigh Hartsock score in the 96th minute on the Lyons only shot in the contest. Marshall posted 10 saves as MHC held off a 35-1 onslaught by the Pride. Mount Holyoke shouldered a tough 1-0 loss to Bard, but closed out the 2015 regular season with a pair of 1-1 double-overtime draws against Smith and WPI to secure its spot in the NEWMAC Tournament.
Entering as the sixth-seed, the Lyons squared-off at third-seeded Babson in the quarterfinals. Despite a strong effort and a 10-save performance from Marshall, Mount Holyoke fell by a 1-0 margin to the Beavers to conclude its outstanding season.
Leading the Lyons was Sanaú Ruiz, who recorded a team-best 15 goals with an assist for 31 points. She also had a squad-high 87 shots, including 40 on goal, with a team-leading five game-winning tallies. Hartsock was second on the team with six goals and a team-leading five assists for 17 points, while sophomores Liz Rose and Suz Rose both posted two goals and two assists apiece for six points.
In goal, the Lyons saw two goalies trade action over the course of the season, led by Marshall, who posted an 8-6-3 record. She sported a 0.96 goals against average and a sparkling .894 save percentage, stopping 144 shots with 17 goals allowed. Marshall was first in the NEWMAC in both saves and save percentage, while ranking sixth in GAA. First year Amanda Manaster (1-1), finished with a 1.50 GAA and a .813 save percentage with 13 saves and three goals surrendered.
Sanaú Ruiz, who finished the season ranked second in the NEWMAC in goals and third in points, was a NEWMAC Offensive Performer of the Week selection. Defensively, Marshall earned the conference's Defensive Performer of the Week once. At season's end, both were tabbed to the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team for their efforts. Hartsock was a Second Team honoree.
Academically, the Lyons continued to see solid efforts off the field as eight student-athletes were all named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference team.
• Finished sixth in the NEWMAC standings
• Posted most wins in a season since the 1992 squad had 10 victories
• Posted first winning season (above .500) since the 1992 squad (10-7-0)
• Recorded victories over Southern Vermont, Bryn Mawr, Western New England, RPI, Emerson, Bay Path, Clark, Wellesley and Springfield
• Three named to NEWMAC All-Conference Teams
• Eight named NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selections