Worcester, MA --- Mount Holyoke's Kirstin Kilburn (New Branford, CT) and Shara Robertson (Kwazulu Natal, South Africa) connected on a pair of second half goals to propel the Lyons to a 4-1 win versus host WPI in an important NEWMAC field hockey contest played on Tuesday evening.
Mount Holyoke pushed its overall record to 9-4 with the win and, more importantly, moved to 4-2 in a crowded NEWMAC regular season title chase. The Lyons are in a three-way tie for second place with Wellesley and Clark, a half game behind pacesetter MIT (5-2). WPI is now 8-6 on the season and 2-4 in conference play.
Christina Ianni (Wilmington, DE) got Mount Holyoke on the board at 20:20 when she tipped a shot in the crease from Taylor Hedges (Longmeadow, MA) for her seventh tally of the season. Angelica Pascual (Lawrence, MA) gave the Lyons a 2-0 lead with just under three minutes before the break when she dribble all the way in from past midfield and beat the goalkeeper from the left side for her second marker if 2011.
WPI climbed backed into the game with a perfectly executed penalty corner after time had expired in the first half. Danielle Antonellis (Duxbury, MA) drilled a laser into the top left corner following an insertion by Megan Read (Wrentham, MA) and a stick stop by Celena Dopart (Washington, DC). The goal was Antonellis' fifth of the season and 13th of her career.
The second half was Mount Holyoke's chance to showcase its skills on penalty corners. The visitors scored twice on nearly identical plays less than eights minuets apart midway through the second stanza. On both plays, Robertson set up Kilburn with crisp entry passes leading to rockets from the freshman, who now has 11 goals during her rookie campaign.
Senior netminder Katie Gibson (Charlotte, NC) made three saves for Mount Holyoke while Liz Dufresne (Worcester, MA) was credited with eight stops for the hosts. Both teams were aided by defensive saves with Katye Milligan (Skowhegan, ME) notching one for WPI and Trisia Chase (Feeding Hills, MA) collectinh one for the Lyons.
Mount Holyoke enjoyed a 17-9 advantage in shots and a 13-5 bulge in penalty corners, including a 9-1 edge after intermission.
WPI plays the middle contest of its three-game homestand on Saturday, entertaining Wellesley at 11am. Mount Holyoke is also at home on Saturday, hosting Clark at 1pm.