WELLESLEY, Mass. – Wellesley College lacrosse outscored visiting Smith College 11-3 in the second half to earn a 17-9 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue snap a four-game skid with their first conference victory of the season, improving to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in NEWMAC games. The Pioneers are now 4-7 on the year (0-3 NEWMAC).
Junior Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) had a game-high six points on five goals and an assist for the Blue and now sits at 98 career goals in a Wellesley uniform. Classmates Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) each had multi-goal games, with Lemay registering her fourth hat trick of the season and Peterson netting two goals. First year Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) dished out a game-high three assists, adding a pair of goals to finish with a season-best five point effort. Classmate Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) chipped in with two goals and an assist.
Sophomore Julia Hamilton (Williamstown, Mass.) and senior captain Ray Silveria (Dunstable, Mass.) combined to score seven of the Pioneers nine goals in the game. Hamilton scored four goals on six shots, while Silveria recorded a hat trick. Silveria added an assist to go along with four ground balls and a pair of draw controls. Sophomore Caroline Myran (Philadelphia, Pa.) and first year Chloe Harris (Alexandria, Va.) also scored for Smith.
The teams traded goals during the opening six minutes of regulation, playing to a 2-2 draw at 24:03 after Hamilton and Lemay each scored twice in the early going. The Pioneers broke the deadlock with goals at 20:22 and 15:32, as Silveria converted a free position shot before firing home a feed from first year Emily Biggs (Florence, Mass.) to give Smith a 4-2 edge.
Sharkin and senior Ellie Mannon (Birmingham, Ala.) scored less than a minute apart to help Wellesley tie the game, at 4-4, at 14:12. Hamilton followed with her hat trick goal at 11:07, before Sharkin completed a first half hat trick of her own with goals at 10:32 and 8:36 to put Wellesley back in front, 6-5. The back-and-forth opening stanza saw its final goal at 2:57, when Myran scored her ninth of the year to tie the game at 6-6.
Wellesley opened the second half with four unanswered goals to take a 10-6 advantage. Sophomore Jenny Gubner (Pleasanton, Calif.) scored at 25:58, before Persky set up Sharkin and Engretson for goals at 24:11 and 21:31. Engbretson then capped the run with her second of the game at 20:44.
Silveria got Smith on the board at 16:50, closing the gap to 10-7, but the Blue immediately responded with two more goals, from Peterson and senior Chesley Hooker (Cypress, Texas), to take a 12-7 advantage. Hamilton added Smith's eighth goal of the game at 13:11 of the second, but four-straight Wellesley goals helped the Blue to take a commanding 16-8 lead before they closed out the 17-9 final.
The Blue scooped up 25 ground balls in the contest, causing 13 turnovers, including a game-high five from Sharkin, while committing 23 turnovers of their own. Smith grabbed 19 ground balls, caused nine turnovers and committed 28 turnovers in the game.
In goal, Wellesley junior Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) made eight saves to pick up her sixth win (6-5) of the season. The Blue outshot the Pioneers 29-23 in the contest, as Smith's Sarah Price (Hudson, Ohio) made 10 saves to dip to 3-5 on the year.
Wellesley will host cross-town rival Babson in NEWMAC action on Wednesday, April 13, at 4:00 PM. Smith will also play Wednesday, when they travel to MIT for a 7:00 PM NEWMAC game.