Norton, Mass. - April 27, 2013 - The Springfield College women's lacrosse team will have the opportunity to defend its conference crown after it toppled Mount Holyoke by a 14-9 margin in the semifinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Confernence Tournament. The second-seeded Lyons are now 11-4, while the third-seeded Pride move to 10-7 overall.
Springfield, which is the defending NEWMAC Tournament champion and will facesfourth-seeded Babson at 1pm. The Beavers knocked off top-seeded Wheaton, 11-8 in Saturday's first semifinal.
The Lyons broke out onto the scoreboard early as Molly Macdonald scored her 55th of the season past Pride junior goalie Anne Versprille at 27:17. Springfield came roaring back with 22:19 remaining as sophomore Jennifer McDonough fired one in. The Pride continued with the momentum as sophomore midfielder Michelle Dorsey scored from the free position at 17:05 and junior attack Kelly Gallo tipped in a Meghan Flanagan pass less than a minute later to grab a 3-1 advantage with 16:26 to play in the first half.
Dorsey then added her 28th of the year and second of the contest and Flanagan - a senior midfielder - scored one of her own to make it a 5-1 lead for the third-seeded Pride with 11:28 remaining in the opening stanza. Springfield continued to capitalize on Mount Holyoke's foul troubles in the shooting lane, as first year midfielder Connie Nielsen scored from the free position - the squad's third of the half from the arch - at 10:20 to make it a 6-1 lead.
Down 8-1 after goals from Flanagan and junior midfielder Kerstin Lindrooth, Mount Holyoke began a comeback as sophomore midfielder Kirsten Kilburn scored unassisted at 4:17. That tally was quickly followed by Macdonald's 56th of the season as she converted a pass from senior attack Christina Horimoto.
The Lyons were unable to shut down the Pride in the final seconds as Springfield took a 9-3 lead into halftime as sophomore attack Colleen Keeley scored with 11 seconds to play.
Junior midfielder Brianne Phelan got things going for Mount Holyoke to open the second half, cutting the deficit to five (9-4) at 25:33 but the Pride answered as Dorsey scored from the free position at 24:39 to make it 10-4. Less than 30 second later, Keeley tacked on her second of the game and Flanagan helped Springfield take a 13-4 lead after scoring at 21:17 and assisting on senior middie Allie Davis's marker with 19:25 to play in the game.
Macdonald cut the gap once again for the Lyons with 16:14 remaining, netting her third of the game off a pass from first year attack Julia Bell to make it a 13-5 game and MHC grabbed the momentum to cut the lead to 13-8 over the next eight minutes.
The Lyons pressured Springfield's Versprille and it paid off at 8:49 as Macdonald netted her fourth of the game and 58th of the season to make it 13-6. Bell then tallied less than 30 seconds later off a feed from first year middie Catherine Ryan, while Kilburn recorded her 42nd of the season to make it a five-goal game (13-8) with 8:08 remaining.
Springfield halted the run by the Lyons with 5:37 to play as Keeley converted a pass from Dorsey to make it 14-8. Mount Holyoke was able to edge back to the five-goal margin (14-9) with 1:12 left on the clock as Phelan scored off an assist from Ryan, but it wasn't enough as the Pride held on down the stretch to take the victory and advance.
The Pride saw Dorsey post three goals and three assists in the game, while Flanagan added three goals and two assists. Keeley chipped in with three goals and an assist. In goal, Versprille made nine saves before giving way to first year Carley Elkin, who made one stop over the final 5:37.
For Mount Holyoke, Macdonald recorded four goals and now has 58 on the season. Kilburn and Phelan each added two goals for the Lyons, while in net, senior Liz Malenfant made eight saves.