BY LEXI LOBDELL ’20
Mount Holyoke Soccer hosted Southern Vermont College, rallying during the second half of the game to take the 2-1 win on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Southern Vermont took a lead when senior midfielder Paige Vitale ’18 shot the ball past MHC goalie Amanda Manster ’19 with 8:37 remaining in the half.
The Lyons fought back diligently, locking down on defense. Throughout the second half the Lyons controlled the ball to create offensive opportunities. In the 72nd minute the Lyons’ aggressive pressure paid off when the ball bounced off a Southern Vermont defender into the goal to tie up the game.
Mount Holyoke carried the momentum throughout the second half, continuing to attack the goal. In the 86th minute, forward Minerva Veeser-Bobea ’20 flew past her defender and drew out Southern Vermont sophomore goalkeeper Melissa Mascari. She tapped the ball to forward Sara Sanaú Ruiz ’18 who fired it into the empty net for her fourth goal of the season.
Manaster emphasized the difference between team morale in the first and second halves. “During the second half we just agreed that we all have to push harder, press more and bring our energy up,” said Manaster. Midfielder McKenna Lamb ’20 echoed her teammate, saying, “In the final 30 minutes, the team realized the urgency of the game. We needed to score or we were going to be going to overtime, so that definitely made people work harder.”
Southern Vermont had several shots on goal in the final minutes of the game, including an attempt from SVC junior Molly Madore that hit the top post. However, the Mountaineers couldn’t get past the MHC defense. The Lyons stole the victory 2–1, bringing their overall record to 2–2–0.
Coming off a tough loss against Amherst College on Thursday, Manaster explained what the Lyons changed to succeed. “We kept a more compact back line and focused more on defense,” said Manaster. Lamb added that, “This game, the team came out with a lot more determination. It was really the attitude that made the difference.” Forward Abby Tuckett ’20 stressed the importance of the Lyons’ resilient team dynamic, saying, “Because of our amazing team dynamic, we are able to take victories and losses together and see opportunities for growth.”
The Lyons’ ultimate goal this season is to make conference playoffs. Manaster outlined the team’s next steps: “We’d like to improve our offensive attacks as well as build a solid defense. In practice we’ve been reviewing zone defense and movement off the ball.”
The Lyons match up next on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m. at Western New England College.