SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – A pair of second-half goals proved to be the difference as the Mount Holyoke College soccer team posted a 2-0 win over Elms College in non-conference action on Friday afternoon. The Lyons, who celebrated their two seniors in a pregame ceremony, move to 8-8-0 on the season. The Blazers slip to 13-3-1 on the year.
After 50' of scoreless action, Lyons first year midfielder McKenna Lamb (Redland, Calif./The Webb Schools) grabbed the first goal of the contest. On a long ball sent in from junior Sophie Manum (Seattle, Wash./Garfield), Lamb raced with a defender for control. Elms keeper Rebecca Molin (West Hartford, Conn./Northwest Catholic) came in to make the play, but the ball came loose in front of a wide open net, as Lamb buried it for the go-ahead tally.
The two teams traded opportunities following the tally, with the Blazers nearly converting after back-to-back corner kicks. Following the second corner, a batted away ball from Lyons senior keeper Zoe Marshall (Mississauga, Ont./Cawthra Park Secondary School) caromed out to junior midfielder Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass./Belchertown). She unleashed a shot that sailed just over net at 58'.
Junior midfielder Mackenzie LaRochelle (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) had a great chance at 62' after the ball came free to the left of the net. Marshall was able to cross over and make a quick scoop save to keep the Lyons ahead.
MHC went on to grab the lead at 76' after a foul call in the box against the Blazers. Sophomore forward Sara Sanaú Ruiz (Zaragoza, Spain/P.P. Dominicos-Cardenal Xavierre) stepped up for the penalty kick opportunity, sending the ball into the right corner for the 2-0 advantage.
Elms stepped up the pressure late firing in several shots on the Lyons net. The best chance coming at 85' as Soucia sent in a long, but hard kicked ball in on net. Sophomore Amanda Manaster (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills), who came on in relief of Marshall, made the heads-up save to keep the Blazers off the board.
Early control of the contest favored the visiting Blazers as senior midfielder Rachel Mick (Granby, Mass./Granby) fired a shot in on goal from 15-yards out. Marshall made the leap, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar at the 2' mark.
The Lyons had a chance of their own at 8' as a free kick from Marshall was redirected by Sanaú Ruiz into the offensive zone. It landed on the foot of Lamb, who fired in a hard shot in coverage, but Elms's Molin made the scoop save in front.
Mount Holyoke, which owned a 5-2 advantage in shots through the opening 45, had the game's other top chance at 32' as a corner kick by sophomore midfielder Dale Leonheart (Petaluma, Calif./St. Vincent de Paul) crossed to the right side. Sanaú Ruiz headed the ball, which went just wide of the post.
The Blazers held the 12-7 advantage in shots and owned an 8-4 edge in corners. In goal, Marshall earned the victory, stopping four shots. Manaster made two stops in relief for the Lyons. Molin shouldered the loss for Elms, posting three saves.
Mount Holyoke returns to the pitch on Tuesday, traveling to Smith for a 3:30pm NEWMAC contest. The Blazers will be back in action on Saturday, facing Wheelock on the road for NECC action at 2pm.