SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College soccer team used a second half surge to beat Western New England University, 2-0 on Tuesday. The match was highlighted by the game-winning tally from sophomore defender Avia Jacobs. The Lyons improve to 3-2, while the Golden Bears drop to 2-4-1.
After a scoreless opening half, which saw the visitors dominate with a 12-3 edge in shots, the Lyons became the first to break through in the 57th minute with Jacobs (Calabasas, Calif./Sierra Canyon) netting her third of the season.
Junior midfielder Jentrie Grissom (North Ogden, Utah/Weber) came down the right side off a pass from Sara Sanaú Ruiz (Zaragoza, Spain / P.P. Dominicos - Cardenal Xavierre). She sent a long arching shot from 20' out, which Golden Bears keeper Marissa Veilleux (Newington, Conn./Newington) laid out to get both hands on the ball. Unable to control it, the ball slipped loose enough for Jacobs to redirect it in for the score.
Sanaú Ruiz helped push the Lyons lead to 2-0 in the 63rd minute after she knocked the ball ahead toward the offensive zone. Shoulder-to-shoulder with a WNE defender, junior forward Jamie Collings (Gainsville, Fla./Eastside) won the footrace, beating Veilleux who shifted left on the right side shot.
Despite a 10-4 advantage in shots for the second stanza, the Golden Bears were unable to get anything past MHC keeper and senior captain Zoe Marshall (Mississauga, Ont./Cawthra Park Secondary School), who finished the game with 15 saves.
The two teams played a strong opening half that saw several solid opportunities. WNE nearly scored off of a corner attempt in the 19th minute after senior defender Katelyn Cummings (Feeding Hills, Mass./Agawam) placed the ball high, right in front of the net, but an MHC defender was just able to get a head on the ball to knock it out of bounds.
Mount Holyoke's best chance in the opening frame came as Grissom received a beautifully placed ball on the right side and entered the box for a shot on Veilleux who deflected the ball out of play to the left.
For the Golden Bears, Veilleux shouldered the loss with four stops. The Lyons saw Sanaú Ruiz record her sixth assist on the year, while Marshall notched her 41st save – both are now tops in the NEWMAC in their respective categories.
Mount Holyoke returns to the pitch on Saturday traveling to Babson College for a conference bout at 2:00pm. Western New England will also return to action on Saturday at home against Eastern Nazarene at 1:30pm.
Photo courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.