SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The No. 17 Mount Holyoke College field hockey team received individual goals from three different players to defeat visiting Simmons College, 3-1, this afternoon in South Hadley, Mass. in the season opener for both teams. The Lyons, who are ranked nationally by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, improve to 1-0, while the Sharks fall to 0-1.
After a back-and-forth start to the contest, Simmons struck first as sophomore forward Gabrielle Henderson (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) fired in her first goal of the season at the 15:42 mark. The feed came from sophomore midfielder Robin Powell (Richmond, Vt.) down the middle, Henderson took advantage of a wide open goal at the right corner and slammed it home for a 1-0 lead.
Mount Holyoke's defense took over for the final 54-plus minutes of action, holding the Sharks to three shots for the balance of the match. Sophomore forward Charlotte Wagner (Westchester, Pa.) collected her own rebound off a shot down the middle and found the ball before sending it in to the left corner for the equalizer for the Lyons at 25:04. First year midfielder Sophie Perekslis (Sheffield, Mass.) collected a rebound as well, taking advantage of another loose ball opportunity in front. She potted a shot from the left side after a Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn.) strike from the high circle came free and gave the home team a 2-1 edge with just 2:17 left in the opening half.
Sophomore forward Jessica Taylor (West Springfield, Mass.) connected for an insurance goal, squeezing the ball into the cage near the line on a feed from junior forward Anna Hartman (Montpelier, Vt.) to increase the Mount Holyoke's margin to 3-1 at the 50:02 mark.
Sophomore keeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass.) stopped a shot to earn the victory for the Lyons, while sophomore goalie Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) made 10 saves for the Sharks. Senior back Avery Hines (Newburyport, Mass.) also helped out on the backline, making a defensive save for Simmons.
The Sharks will be in action again on Tuesday, September 2 when they open the home slate at Winsor Field vs. Becker College at 7:00 p.m., while Mount Holyoke hosts Nichols College on the same night and time.