WELLESLEY, Mass. – Mount Holyoke College junior Kaitlin Braz (Tolland, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal with 11:11 remaining in the second overtime period to send the fifth-seeded Lyons to a 2-1 victory over fourth-seeded Wellesley College field hockey in the quarterfinals of the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Field Hockey Championship on Tuesday afternoon.
The Lyons improve to 12-6 overall and advance to the NEWMAC semifinals on Saturday, November 5, where they will play top-seeded Babson College in Babson Park at 11:00 AM. Wellesley ends the 2016 season with a 10-8 overall record.
Braz deflected a pass from sophomore Mirjam Keochakian (Hamburg, Germany) into the Wellesley cage, scoring her third goal of the year and her second game-winning goal in her last two outings, to give the Lyons a 2-1 victory. Tuesday's quarterfinal was the fourth consecutive postseason match-up between the two rivals that ended in overtime.
Keochakian finished the game with a goal and an assist, scoring the game's opening goal on a penalty stroke after being taken down inside the circle by Blue senior goalkeeper Lucy Hurlock (Needham, Mass.) 2:53 into the first. Hurlock got her stick on Keochakian's bid but the Mount Holyoke junior still snuck the ball across the line for her sixth goal of the season.
The contest remained tied until the Blue countered with a goal at 26:39 of the first, converting on a penalty corner chance. Senior Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored her ninth goal of the season on the play, turning and firing home a shot to the left of Mount Holyoke goalkeeper Liz DiCesare (Westford, Mass.). Wellesley first year Clare Doyle (Louisville, Ky.) opened the play by inserting the ball to sophomore Cecie Negron (Midlothian, Va.) at the top of the circle, Negron then found Peterson to tie the score at 1-1.
The teams played to a scoreless second half, with Mount Holyoke carrying the action through the early stages before the Blue got their chances later in the period. Mount Holyoke finished the game with a 28-3 advantage in shots, earning 13 penalty corners to just three for the Blue. A frantic opening period of overtime followed.
The Lyons might have ended the contest in the first overtime period had it not been for Hurlock, who made four saves. Hurlock finished the game with one of her finest performances in a Wellesley uniform, making a career-high 17 saves. DiCesare turned back one shot to earn the win for the Lyons.
Mount Holyoke will now turn its attention to Babson. The tournament's top seed, the Beavers are ranked No. 9 in the nation in the latest NFHCA Coaches Poll and sport a 17-2 overall record and a 7-2 mark at home. Babson won the only regular season meeting between the two schools, 3-0 on October 15 in Babson Park.