SOUTH HADLEY, MA - Mount Holyoke College took advantage of a nine-goal flurry in the second half to hold off Western Connecticut State University in a 21-14 non-conference win on Thursday evening. The game, which saw three players post five goals apiece, put the Lyons at a 5-5 overall record while the Colonials slip to 2-5 overall.
Locked in an 11-11 battle with 17:31 to play in the game, MHC sophomore Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) tipped the scales in the Lyons favor with the go-ahead goal on the free position. It was momentum that Mount Holyoke would not relinquish as eight more goals, including another from Bell and two each from senior captains Naomi Miller (Augusta, Maine/Cony) and Brianne Phelan (Quincy, Mass./Quincy) made it a 20-11 game with 7:41 left to play.
The Colonials responded as junior Kelsey Heaton (New Milford, Conn./New Milford) pounded in an unassisted shot less than 30 seconds later. Senior Kirsten Hudock (Newtown, Conn./Newtown) added a tally on the free position to cut the deficit to 20-13 at the 6:05 mark, but MHC senior Liz Randolph (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) fired in her third of the game to put the Lyons up by eight (21-13) once again.
Senior Hyla Costello (Southington, Conn./Southington), who paced Western Connecticut with a game-best five goals, chipped in with her 25 goal of the season at the 3:28 mark but the Lyons took advantage of back-to-back yellow cards charged to the Colonials to hold on to the ball for the remainder of the contest.
Mount Holyoke opened the second half with three straight, with a pair coming off the stick of sophomore Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow), who finished with a game-best five goals. Despite the 11-6 lead, Western Connecticut continued to press, scoring five straight, including three in a row from Costello to push the score to the 11-11 margin.
Ryan and Miller both paced the Lyons offense, recording a game-best five tallies. Ryan also added an assist. Randolph finished with three goals and a game-high four assists, while junior captain Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) posted three goals and a game-high seven draw controls.
Costello led the way for Western Connecticut State, adding an assist, three ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers to her totals. Carey finished with four goals and an assist, while Hudock added three goals.
In goal, Mount Holyoke sophomore Katherine Kayser-Hirsh (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) recorded nine saves before giving way to first year Mariesa Mazzone (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy) over the final 3:46 of the game. She made no saves. For the Colonials, senior Karli Portney (Sea Cliff, N.Y./North Shore) made a number of solid stops, finishing with 11 for the game.
The game, which lasted just over two hours, saw Mount Holyoke hold the advantage in shots (42-24), ground balls (19-14) and draw controls (21-16). Western Connecticut State was an impressive 14-of-21 on clear attempts, while the Lyons were 8-of-15.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as Mount Holyoke travels to Wellesley (12pm), while Western Connecticut State hosts Rhode Island College (1pm).