NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Sophomore Dacia Persky (Las Vegas Nev.) matched her career-high with six goals and set a career-high mark with four assists, recording a career-best ten points to lead Wellesley College lacrosse to a commanding 20-13 victory over New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival Smith College on Saturday at the Smith Turf Field.
Wellesley has now won back-to-back games over NEWMAC opponents, scoring a combined 38 goals in the two contests, to improve to 5-4 on the year and 2-1 in conference play. Smith has lost three-straight NEWMAC games and is 8-4 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Persky was near unstoppable for the Blue, unleashing a team-high eight shots, while also going 2-for-4 on free position attempts. The sophomore was one of four Wellesley players to record a hat trick in the contest, as the Blue unleashed their highest scoring output of the season. Seniors Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) and sophomore Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) all recorded hat tricks, with Sharkin and Engbretson each tallying four-point games thanks to assists.
Senior Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored two goals and tallied a pair of assists to go along with team-highs in ground balls, with five, and caused turnovers, where she racked-up a career-high seven. Junior Jenny Gubner (Pleasanton, Calif.) also scored twice for the Blue, while classmate Mayu Kikuchi (Villanova, Pa.) netted her second of the season and added an assist. In goal, senior Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) made two saves to earn the win before giving way to sophomore Chloe Tucker (San Ramon, Calif.), who made six saves in relief.
Sophomore Chloe Harris (Alexandria, Va.) matched Persky with six goals for the Pioneers, finishing with a game-high 12 shots and also adding an assist. Harris now leads Smith with 40 goals in 12 games this season. First year Sydney Garner (Beaverton, Ore.) recorded a hat trick, one ground ball, two draw controls and two caused turnovers, while sophomore Gigi MacDonald (Newton, Mass.) and first year Bella Ferraro (Orange, Conn.) each added goals for Smith. Junior goalie Sarah Price (Hudson, Ohio) made ten saves on 30 Wellesley shots in the setback.
The teams exchanged goals, with Persky scoring twice, to run the score to 2-2 in the opening seven minutes of play. Wellesley then erupted for seven-straight goals, the last two off the stick of Gubner, to take a commanding 9-2 edge with 8:36 left before halftime. Garner stopped the run a 6:39, but Smith failed to mount a rally, as the team's again exchanged goals to send the game into the break with Wellesley leading, 11-5.
The Wellesley advantage grew to 14-7 in the opening ten minutes of the second half, as Persky scored twice and Lemay added another. Smith got within four over the next ten minutes of play, scoring three unanswered goals to make the score 14-10 when MacDonald ended the run at 10:46. However, Kikuchi responded for the Blue, scoring at 10:09 to increase Wellesley's lead back to five. Including Kikuchi's marker, the Blue scored six of the final nine goals, the final coming when Persky set-up Lemay at 2:01, to ease to the 20-13 win.
The Blue ended the game with a 33-22 advantage in shots and a 30-21 lead in shots on goal. Wellesley also topped Smith by a 24-21 margin in ground balls and capitalized on half (5-for-10) of the team's free position attempts.
Wellesley returns home tomorrow, April 9, to host Eastern Connecticut State at 12:00 PM in a rescheduled contest from March 10. Smith will host MIT in NEWMAC play on Wednesday evening, April 12, at 7:00 PM.