BY ANNA BALLOU ’20
On Saturday, Mount Holyoke Lacrosse kept a packed crowd on its feet during a competitive game against NEWMAC rival Wellesley College. A second half comeback effort by the Lyons tied the game with 8:56 left to play. The match featured goals from five different Mount Holyoke players and a solid performance from starting keeper Isa Rodriguez ’17. The Lyons came out on top in most aspects of the game, as they held a 34-22 shot advantage and bested Wellesley 29-26 in ground ball recoveries. Mount Holyoke also saw a 10-8 edge in draw controls, featuring five different players. At the end of the competition, Wellesley bested Mount Holyoke, 9-8.
Wellesley scored the first goal of the game, followed by two from the Lyons. Julianna Rankin ’20 and Mary LaVigne ’20 each sent one past the goalie in back-to-back minutes of play. After a period of scoreless play, Mount Holyoke saw two impressive goals from midfielder Kaitlin Braz ’18. Her goals, which came just 3 minutes apart, sandwiched a Wellesley goal, bringing the score to 3-4, Mount Holyoke. Wellesley ended the half with power, as they scored 3 goals in the last minute of play.
Mount Holyoke came out strong in the second half with a goal from captain Charlotte Wagner ’17, assisted by Braz, at 17:01. Wellesley responded with two goals of their own, however, MHC was not to be stopped. Leila Kouakou ’18, Braz and LaVigne each scored unassisted goals to tie the game with eight minutes still left to play. With 28 seconds remaining in the match, Wellesley called a time-out and planned one last effort to break the tie. Eight seconds later, they capitalized on a successful play. The Lyons called their own time-out in an attempt to even out the score once again, however their efforts were thwarted by a turnover.
Braz had a game-high three goals, and four draw controls. The game also featured seven saves from Rodriguez, one of which was the 400th save of her career.
Kouakou commented on the team’s performance, stating, “Saturday’s game was a tough loss for us.” She continued, “We came out knowing that Wellesley was a strong opponent and that we would have to give everything we had to beat them.” Kuoakou believes that this intense atmosphere contributed to the team’s success during the game. According to Kouakou, she and her teammates are “so incredibly proud of [their] effort and [they] couldn’t ask for more from the team.” Deyscha Smith ’19 agreed with Kouakou, praising the team’s efforts throughout the game. She remarked, “Whether it was a defensive stop or a goal, everyone worked so hard and we had so many small victories that game, so many things done well.”
Not only was Saturday’s game a highly competitive event, but it also featured four outstanding seniors. At the start of the game, the Lyons held a brief ceremony to recognize Wagner, Rodriguez, defender Alyssa Tabrisky ’17 and defender and captain Taylor Hough ’17. The seniors noted that it was special to see family members at the game since all four seniors are from out of state. Each had solid performances throughout the contest.
Mount Holyoke Lacrosse had their final regular season game on Wednesday, April 26 when they hosted local rival Smith College, losing 11-10.