CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A 9-2 run that spanned 10 minutes in the first half proved to be the difference as MIT defeated Mount Holyoke College, 22-19, in the NEWMAC regular season finale on Saturday. With the victory, the Engineers (11-5, 4-3 NEWMAC) clinched the No. 4 seed for the upcoming NEWMAC Championship Tournament and will host a quarterfinal game on Wednesday, April 23. The Lyons (8-7, 3-4 NEWMAC), meanwhile, could make a return trip to Cambridge if they secure the No. 5 seed once conference action concludes.
In the highest scoring game in program history, MIT established a new mark for goals in a game which was originally set versus Mount Holyoke 10 years ago. Sophomore Kira Schott (New Canaan, Conn.) eclipsed the Engineers' standard for goals in a season set by Casey Flynn '10 in 2009 as her four tallies put her past Flynn's total of 52. In addition, freshman Hannah Levy (Yardley, Pa.) tied the Institute mark for points in a game as her seven goals and four assists equaled the total Laura Wacker '13 produced against Framingham State University in 2012.
The Lyons were led by junior Kirsten Kilburn (North Branford, Conn.) who compiled eight goals, 11 draw controls, and three groundballs. Sophomore Julia Bell (Longmeadow, Mass.) also had an eight-point outing courtesy of six goals and two assists while generating four draw controls and two groundballs.
Bell and Kilburn provided the first two goals of the game before a free-position shot by sophomore Kristen Eller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) put MIT on the board and sparked the game-changing 9-2 run. Schott recorded the last three goals of the rally to give the Engineers a 9-4 advantage with 12:05 left in the half. Mount Holyoke responded with strikes by senior Naomi Miller (Augusta, Maine) and Bell, setting off a trend of back-to-back goals by both sides to close the half. Bell and Kilburn provided the final markers with 41 and five seconds to go, cutting the visitors' deficit to 13-10 at the intermission.
Levy opened the second stanza with a pair of free-position shots while sophomore Isabella DiDio (Jenkintown, Pa.) connected on a feed from freshman Keeley Erhardt (Ann Arbor, Mich.) to give the Engineers some breathing room after five minutes elapsed. The Lyons responded with three straight goals, one by Kilburn and two from senior Brianne Phelan (Quincy, Mass.), which fueled a 7-2 rally that brought them within one (18-17) at the 16:01 mark. A free-position strike by senior Erica Du (Excelsior, Minn.) stopped the run while a DiDio marker increased the hosts' cushion.
An exchange of goals ensued as a solo effort by Kilburn narrowed the gap to 21-19 with 8:25 remaining. After winning the draw, MIT saw a free-position attempt sail wide while another shot on goal was saved. A turnover on the clearing attempt later resulted in a free-position shot for Du, which she converted with four minutes on the clock. Levy came up with the draw control and the Engineers retained possession down the stretch despite constant pressure from Mount Holyoke.
Schott finished with four goals, one assist, six draw controls, and three groundballs as DiDio tallied five goals, four groundballs, and three draw controls. Freshman Erica Green (Ivyland, Pa.) posted two goals and an assist while Eller scored twice. Erhardt earned a pair of assists while sophomore Kristyn Berretta (San Diego, Calif.) recorded one assist and four groundballs. In net, junior Candice Kaplan (Arlington, Va.) collected eight saves.
For the Lyons, Miller had two goals, one assist, and four draw controls as Phelan notched two goals. Freshman Charlotte Wagner (West Chester, Pa.) and sophomore Catherine Ryan (Longmeadow, Mass.) both dished out two assists while freshman Katherine Guinee (Topsfield, Mass.) rounded out the scoring with a goal. Sophomore Katherine Kayser-Hirsh (Amherst, Mass.) made three saves as freshman Mariesa Mazzone (Gilroy, Calif.) saw eight minutes of action but did not turn away a shot.