NEWMAC TOURNAMENT: #1 Wheaton Downs #4 MIT, 15-5

NEWMAC TOURNAMENT: #1 Wheaton Downs #4 MIT, 15-5

Tewksbury's hat-trick in first half fuels Lyons' offense

NORTON, Mass. – First-seeded Wheaton College outscored fourth-seeded MIT by an 11-3 margin in the first half alone en route to an eventual 15-5 victory in the semifinal round of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Nordin Field.

With the win, the Lyons (12-6) advance to the championship round of the tournament and will take on the winner of third-seeded Babson College (5-10, 4-3 NEWMAC) and second-seeded Springfield College (8-8, 5-2 NEWMAC) on Sunday, April 27 at 1 p.m. on Nordin Field. Babson and Springfield play later today in Norton, Mass. at 3 p.m. MIT sees its 2014 campaign come to a close at 12-6 overall.

Sophomore Jenna Tewksbury (Concord, N.H./Concord) paced the Wheaton offense with three goals, one assist, two draw controls and three caused turnovers.

Juniors Melanie Sharick (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) and Kelsie Jenquine (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) and sophomores Madison Cohen (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) and Brooke Sabol (Landgrove, Vt./Burr & Burton Academy) all potted two goals apiece, while seniors Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) and Hayley Bright (Cumberland, Maine/North Yarmouth Academy), sophomore Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine/Kennebunk) and freshman Giovanna Bishop (Portland, Ore./Grant) chipped in with solo tallies.

MIT junior goalkeeper Candice Kaplan (Arlington, Va./Thomas Jefferson HS for Sci. & Tech) made eight saves in the loss. Lyons' junior goalkeeper Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) stopped three shots to bump her record to 12-6 on the season in between the pipes.

Wheaton jumped out ahead early in the first half with back-to-back goals less than a minute apart as Tewksbury finished an unassisted strike from the right side of the cage at the 28:14 mark and Jenquine followed with another unassisted tally at 27:43, her third of the season.

MIT freshman Hannah Levy (Yardley, Pa./Princeton Day School) answered with two-straight scores and sophomore Kira Schott (New Canaan, Conn./Greenwich Academy) pushed the Engineers ahead by a 3-2 score at 24:04 with her team-leading 61st goal.

The Lyons responded with nine-straight goals – including three off free position attempts – to secure an 11-3 advantage headed into the break. Sharick deposited both of her goals into the back of the net during the nine-goal stretch which spanned 22:10, while Tewksbury also netted a pair of markers. Bright sparked the run at 23:35 and Bush capped the scoring outburst with 1:35 remaining in the half on a nice feed by Mills, her second assist of the day.

In the second half, Levy completed her hat trick with a marker at 19:22 and sophomore Isabella DiDio (Jenkintown, Pa./Germantown Friends School) wrapped up the scoring with her 59th goal of the year off a free position attempt with 16-seconds left to play. Cohen, Sabol (2) and Bishop all scored for the Lyons in the final stanza.

The Blue and White went 13-for-17 on clear attempts and posted a 17-6 differential in draw controls. Lyons' senior Devon Soucier (Avon, Conn./Northwest Catholic) led all student-athletes with four draw controls. MIT converted 12 out of 21 clear attempts on the afternoon.

Wheaton is now 17-11 against MIT in the all-time series dating back to 1993 which includes a 5-2 mark in postseason play. Today's victory also marks the first win for the Lyons against the Engineers in the postseason since 2001, an 11-8 triumph in the first round.

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