Jacobs' PK Leads Soccer Past Simmons in 2018 Opener

Lyons soccer players Avia Jacobs, Madison Flueckiger, Chloe Bernier and Cora Melcher celebrate Dale Leonheart's goal against Simmons on Sept. 1st.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Senior Avia Jacobs fired in a penalty shot in the 85th minute to give Mount Holyoke College a 2-1 victory over Simmons University in the season and home opener on Saturday. The Lyons are 1-0 on the young season, while the Sharks slip to 0-2.

Following a scoreless opening half, which saw Simmons record a decisive 11-3 shot margin, the Lyons struck first on the scoreboard in the 63rd minute. Jacobs (Calabasas, Calif./Sierra Canyon) sent in a perfect cross on a corner attempt, which was played by Sharks senior goalie Lauren Williams (Bowdoinham, Maine/Mount Ararat).

Blocking the shot out toward the middle, the ball sailed past one of Williams' own defenders to the foot of MHC senior captain Dale Leonheart (Petaluma, Calif./St. Vincent de Paul). Gaining control, Leonheart sent a high shot into the top right corner for the goal.

Simmons answered in the 79th minute though, tying the score at 1-all on a shot from senior midfielder Ciara Forde (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy). Both teams looked to gain control in the Lyons end, but MHC could not gain control as senior defender Erin Fleming (West Boylston, Mass./West Boylston) got the ball on the right side for the Sharks, sending the ball up on the left to Forde. She ducked around a Lyons' defender, sending a low shot into the lower right corner of the net.

In a half that saw the Sharks hold another strong lead in shot advantage (11-8), it was the Lyons who came away with the victory after the officials' called a handball in the box on the visitors. That sent Jacobs to the line, who booted the eventual game-winner into the left corner past a diving Williams.

Mount Holyoke senior goalie Amanda Manaster (Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills) was outstanding as she posted nine saves, including five point-blank attempts in the second half to earn the shutout win. Williams recorded four saves in the loss for the Sharks.

Simmons owned the edge in shots (22-11) and corner kicks (3-1) in the contest.

The Lyons return to action on Thursday when they travel down the road for a 5pm match at Amherst College. Simmons is back on the field next Saturday, traveling to Colby-Sawyer College for a 1pm tilt.