NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Senior midfielder Mary McNeil scored two second-half goals to erase a 2-0 hole for the No. 9 Merrimack College field hockey program on Saturday afternoon against No. 2 East Stroudsburg University, but the visitors scored on a penalty stroke with less than six minutes remaining to claim a 3-2 win at Merrimack Stadium.
Score: #2 East Stroudsburg 3, #9 Merrimack 2
Records: #9 Merrimack (1-1) | #2 East Stroudsburg (1-0)
Location: Merrimack Stadium | North Andover, Mass.
- ESU (1-0) – Handling the ball at the near post, Stroudsburg’s Karly Conway sent a pass across the goalmouth that was tipped home by Grace Martini to open the scoring in the 29th minute of action
- ESU (2-0) – Three minutes later, East Stroudburg’s attack was able to penetrate the Merrimack defense, and a centering pass found the stick of Makenna Marhefka who scored from in close
- MC (2-1) – What would become a theme in the second half, McNeil dribbled through two ESU defenders, drove into the middle of the attacking zone and pocketed a shot in the bottom-right corner of the net to pull Merrimack within one, less than 12 minutes into the second half
- MC (2-2) – McNeil collected a loose ball with under 11 minutes left in the game, took possession through the right flank and shot across the crease to tie the game
- ESU (3-2) – Approaching the late stages of regulation, East Stroudsburg was awarded a penalty stroke and connected, as Bailey Quinn – last season’s leading goal scorer – netted the go-ahead tally
- McNeil tied for the game high with five shots, and led Merrimack with three shots on goal. The Warriors’ captain overtook the team lead in goals (3) and points (8) with her effort Saturday
- Junior goalkeeper Katharina Ohmen posted multiple highlight-worthy saves, totaling 10 stops against one of the top programs in the country. Eight of her ten saves came in the second half
Notes and Notables
- Merrimack outshot ESU, 18-16, but the visiting Warriors owned a 13-9 edge in shots on goal
- Merrimack attempted seven more corners (12-5) than Stroudsburg
- McNeil recorded the fifth multi-goal game of her career and first since October of her sophomore season (2016)
- The Canton, Mass. native now boasts 27 career goals, 30 assists and 84 points. He rests two points shy of moving into sixth in school annals in points, and needs seven helpers to tie the program record
Merrimack returns to action immediately, hosting Limestone College tomorrow afternoon for another 1 p.m. contest at Merrimack Stadium.