Field Hockey

FH Preview — No. 10 Merrimack Opens Against Bentley Wednesday


WALTHAM, Mass. – The No. 10 Merrimack College field hockey team will begin their 2015 campaign on Wednesday when they travel to Bentley to take on the Falcons at 7 p.m.

Links: Live Stats

The Basics
 Sept. 9, 2015 | 7 p.m.
Records: #10 Merrimack (0-0)
 | Bentley (1-1)
 Bentley Field | Waltham, Mass.

Last Time Out:
The Warriors posted their fourth consecutive winning season last year, and their fifth in six years, on their way to a seventh-place regular season finish in the Northeast-10 Conference. Head coach Anne Rounce enters her eighth season with a roster that returns all but two starters from last season and will look to contend in the conference and nationally.

Merrimack finish last season with a record of 9-8 (5-6 NE-10). Sophomore Taylor Simpson (York, Maine) will look build on her breakthrough rookie season that saw her net 15 goals and four assists for 34 points and win the NE-10 Rookie of the Year. Fellow sophomore Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Mass.) will also look to build on a great rookie year, finishing second on the team in goals (6) and points (18) and earning a spot on the NE-10 All-Rookie Team.

Seniors Christine Zubkus (Dover, N.H.) and Sydney Bowker (Schenectady, N.Y.) will look to cap off fantastic careers with both individual and team-wide success, finishing third and fourth on the team in points last season, respectively.

Senior goalkeeper Madison Davis (San Jose, Calif.) will also look to finish off a great career as a Warrior in net, finishing last season with a .811 save percentage that was good enough for fourth in the country.

Last Season vs. Bentley:
The Warriors and the Falcons split their season series in 2014, 1-1. Merrimack won the first game early in the season in North Andover by a score of 4-0. When they would meet later in the year down in Waltham, Bentley would top Merrimack in a double-overtime thriller, 2-1. 

The Warriors:

  • Captains Sydney Bowker and junior Sarah Sparks (Falmouth, Maine) will lead the way on the field for the Warriors on both sides of the ball.
  • Merrimack returns its top-five scorers from last season to the field for 2015, playing with plenty of offensive experience.
  • The Warriors will continue to focus on their strength in passing, finishing last season second in the nation with 2.35 assists per game.

The Falcons:

  • Bentley is 1-1 to start off the 2015 season. They opened with a 2-1 win over Assumption this past Friday, and were shutout by Franklin Pierce on Sunday afternoon, 3-0.
  • The Falcons have played two different goalies in their first two games, starting junior Evelyn Schaedel in their win on Friday and senior Katie Kelley in their match on Sunday.

Up Next
The Warriors will travel to Worcester after Wednesday night’s game to prepare for a Saturday afternoon match with Assumption at 1 p.m.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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