CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) netted the game-winning goal with under seven minutes to play to help MIT hold on for a 3-2 win in a hard-fought battle between two teams jockeying for position atop the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) field hockey standings. With the win, which was the 200th in the distinguished career of coach Cheryl Sivla, the Engineers improve to 5-1 in league play and 13-2 overall. The loss drops Mount Holyoke to 8-4 and 3-2 in conference.
Off a frantic, loose ball scramble in front of the Mount Holyoke net, Barker took a pass from Kameron Klauber (Carlsbad, Calif.) and pushed the ball home to secure the hard-earned victory and sole possession of first place in the NEWMAC.
Klauber put the hosts on board early on, thanks to a terrific feed from Molly Duffy (New Providence, N.J.). Duffy broke free down the left sideline and fed the ball past the charging Mount Holyoke keeper, Katie Gibson (Charlotte, N.C.), to Klauber, who converted on the empty net.
The Lyons would respond later in the frame, however, with a pair of unanswered goals less than five minutes apart. Shara Robertson (Kwazulu Natal, South Africa) entered the ball on a penalty corner to Kristen Kilburn (North Branford, Conn.), who was waiting at the top of the circle to fire a shot into the back of the cage and even things at one apiece. Robertson then added her, team-leading, 15th marker of the season to put Mount Holyoke on top headed into halftime.
The visitors dominated possession early on in the second half, outshooting the Cardinal and Gray, 8-4, over the first 15 minutes of play. The Engineers would quickly turn the tide though, earning a penalty corner in the 52nd minute. Molly McShane (Lake Bluff, Ill.) capitalized on the opportunity, scoring her first goal of the year to tie the game at two. McShane took a pass from Anna Teruya (Hockessin, Del.) at the top of the circle and lofted a high arcing shot over Gibson's head and into the back of the net, setting up Barker's heroics.
MIT outshot the Mount Holyoke, 24-16, and had a 12-9 edge in penalty corners. Casey Landry (Peabody, Mass.) and Jenna Klein (Parma, Ohio) split time in goal for the Engineers, combining for four saves. Gibson had 10 saves in the losing effort.
MIT will travel to Wellesley College on Tuesday, October 18 for a 4:00 p.m. conference matchup with the Blue. Mount Holyoke continues on the road against WPI on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.