SPECTATOR ADVISORY: Note that the bleachers are CLOSED due to accumulated snow and ice for today's game. Limited standing room is available on the entry plaza at the south end of the field. Please plan accordingly. (updated 3/5/2019 at 11:45 a.m.)
Westfield Mass. - The Westfield State Women's lacrosse team will open up the season with a home matchup against Mount Holyoke College on Tuesday, March 5th at 5:00 p.m.
The Owls come into this season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, and were picked to do so by the league's coaches in the preseason poll.
Westfield will look to win their third straight MASCAC title, and returns a deep group of 10 seniors from last season's team that went undefeated (7-0) in conference play. Headlining that group is reigning tournament and league MVP Maria Woodall (King Phillip / Norfolk, Mass.) The senior goalie had an outstanding season last year, leading the conference in goals-against average and save percentage en route to 18 wins and the MASCAC title.
Also returning for the Owls are All-Conference team members Sydney Lambert (Hanover, Mass.), Caroline Arket (Arlington/Poughquag, N.Y.), Alexa Tonelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.), Marissa Nimeskern (Hanover, Mass) and Olivia Overdahl (Milford, Mass.).
The last time Westfield took on Mount Holyoke was in last year's season opener, where the Owls left with a 7-3 win. Lambert did most of the damage in that game, netting three goals to lead Westfield. Tonelli also tallied a goal in the win.
Lambert was unstoppable last season, scoring a team-leading 54 goals and being named to the MASCAC All-Conference first team. Tonelli also had a very strong season, notching 41 goals to go along with seven assists on the year.
Mount Holyoke won their season opener on February 23rd in an offensive explosion in which they scored 18 goals to beat Gordon College.
The Lyons were led by freshman standout Abby Baldwin (Florence, Mass.) who tallied a game-high six goals to go along with one assist in her collegiate debut. Baldwin was named The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference offensive athlete of the week after her impressive performance.
Mount Holyoke finished last season with an overall record of 3-13.
-- written by Nick Dolan, sports information intern