Wellesley Lacrosse Downs Smith For First NEWMAC Win, 15-7

Senior Lena Engbretson set-up three Wellesley goals in the victory (Frank Poulin).
Senior Lena Engbretson set-up three Wellesley goals in the victory (Frank Poulin).

NORTHAMPTON, Mass -- Wellesley College lacrosse picked up the team's first New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) win of the season on Saturday at Smith College. The Blue defeated the Pioneers by a final score of 15-7.

The Blue are back to .500 on the year, improving to 4-4, while Smith drops to 7-2. Both teams now stand at 1-1 in NEWMAC contests.

First year Eleanor Mallett (Berwick, Maine) capitalized on a free position shot 47 seconds into the first half and the Blue never trailed en route to the victory. The goal was one of six on the day for Mallett as she teamed up with seniors Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Olivia Strobl (Stafford, Va.) to score 14 of the 15 goals for Wellesley. Junior Hannah Maisano (Gambrills, Md.) picked up the other Blue goal, the first of her career, on a free position shot. Senior Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) set up three Blue goals and is now only 13 points away from 100 in her career. Persky is now just 11 points shy of 200 in her Wellesley career after finishing the day with six points.

Wellesley's defense stymied the Pioneers for the majority of the game, but senior Emily Biggs (Florence, Mass.) was able to lead her team with four goals on nine shots. Sophomore Kaitlin Chiu (Palo Alto, Calif.) and senior Clelie Fielding (Francestown, N.H.) also tallied a goal and an assist for Smith. 

Strobl picked up two of her three goals in the first two minutes to push Wellesley ahead 3-0, before Persky took over and scored four of her five goals to give the Blue an 8-3 lead heading into halftime. The Blue continued to keep the pressure on Smith as the Pioneers never came within four goals from the lead in the second half. Briggs scored three of her four goals in the second frame, but Mallett continued to answer for the Blue, tallying five of her six goals to solidify the win.

Wellesley first year Lorna Li (Taunton, Mass.) made a career high 15 saves to earn her third win of her career, moving her to 3-2 on the season. First year Alyssa Schams (South Lyon, Mich.) picked up her second loss (5-2) in net making ten saves on 25 shots. Wellesley finished the contest with a 31-28 lead in shots.

The Blue had the edge in draw controls (13-11), but the Pioneers topped the Blue by a 27-25 margin in ground balls. The Blue were 3-for-9 on free position attempts, while Smith finished 2-of-8. 

Up next for both teams will be a non-conference matchup against Framingham State University, with the Blue traveling to the Rams on April 1 at 7:00 PM, while Smith will host FSU on April 3 at 6:00 PM.