October 10, 2009

Lyons drop 1-0 decision to five-time defending champ Springfield

NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College field hockey team received 10 saves from senior keeper Andrea Bagley (Foxboro, MA/Foxboro) on Senior Day at Clark Field, but the Lyons narrowly fell to five-time defending New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament champion Springfield College, 1-0 on Saturday.

Now 5-7 overall, Wheaton slipped to 1-2 in league play. The Pride improved to 6-6 and 2-2 while earning sixth-year head coach Melissa Rogers her 100th career victory.

In addition to Bagley's effort in net, junior back Ashley English (Watertown, MA/Watertown) made a late defensive save to keep the Lyons alive. For Springfield, senior Morgan Rein (Mystic, CT/Stonington) scored the game's lone goal, and freshman keeper Anna Calano (Columbia, CT/Mercy) went untested in earning the shutout and her first collegiate victory. The visitors held advantages of 15-4 in shots and 11-6 in penalty corners.

Wheaton ran off three straight penalty corners around the six-minute mark but came up empty, and Rein provided the only scoring of the game soon thereafter. After taking the ball from a defender, Rein streaked a third of the field into the circle, deked out Bagley, and then sent an end-line shot from outside the right post just inside the left post at 8:18. In the 15th minute, Bagley charged out to knock the ball from Rein, who had rushed in on a breakaway.

The Lyons nearly knotted the contest in the 39th minute, as senior Alex Block (Saratoga, CA/Saratoga) sent a ball from near the top of the arc through Calano's five-hole, but the attempt was deemed to have been taken from outside the circle.

Bagley denied two quick Pride shots off a penalty-corner sequence in the 57th minute before knocking down a try with her blocker with nearly two minutes left, but the ball squirted backward toward the goal line until being cleared away by English. Wheaton's last opportunity came via freshman Gillian Mann (Burlington, VT/Williston Northampton School), who pushed a shot from the middle of the circle wide left with 1:10 to go.

Wheaton heads to Babson College on Tuesday for a 7:00 p.m. NEWMAC contest.

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