NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The No. 16 Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team won its first postseason game in seven years on Wednesday, rallying from an early three-goal deficit and holding off a late rally to upend No. 19 New Haven by a 14-10 score in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Women’s Lacrosse Championship at Merrimack Stadium. With the win, the Warriors will take on top-seeded and defending champion Adelphi in the semifinals on Saturday on Long Island.
Score: Merrimack 14, New Haven 10
Records: #16 Merrimack (14-4, 10-3 NE10) | #19 New Haven (12-6, 9-4 NE10)
Location: Merrimack Stadium | North Andover, Mass.
- It was all New Haven at the onset, as the hosts scored the first three goals of the game and four of the first five to build a 4-1 edge with roughly 20 minutes gone in the first half. Equally impressive was the defensive effort by the Chargers in that span, holding the third-ranked scoring offense in the NE10 to just one goal in that span while forcing five turnovers.
- But the Warriors flipped the switch over the final 10 minutes of the half, exploding for seven uninterrupted goals – three coming off the stick of junior Bridget Schofield – to turn a three-goal deficit into a four-goal lead entering the break. Merrimack was relentless down the stretch, refusing to take the foot off the gas pedal as indicative by their scoring four goals in the final three minutes of the half and the scoring the final two tallies in a 17-second span.
- Leading by an 8-4 margin to start the second half, New Haven followed a similar script as it did to start the game, using strong defense to keep the Warriors at bay and eventually shrank the deficit to two goals (8-6) with under 20 minutes left.
- The Warriors found temporary relief with back-to-back strikes in a 30-second span, but New Haven would score three straight and four out of five goals overall to make it a one-goal game and set up a frantic finish.
- The hosts would not be denied their first playoff win in seven years, turning to their three lead scorers – junior Amber Feminella, sophomore Ally DaCosta and freshman Haley Bartlett – to put the game away with the final three goals of the game. Bartlett netted two of them, while DaCosta potted the other off a setup from Feminella.
- Schofield set the tone early and often, putting together one of the biggest performances of her career by tying her single-game scoring high with six points on four goals and two assists.
- Feminella was next on the list with four points (2g, 2a), while Bartlett (3g) and senior captain Carly McKenna (2g) both had multi-goal outings, as well.
- Senior captain Annette Ruggiero led the way with four draw controls, followed closely by freshman Catherine Mahanna, who had three, while three different Warriors had two caused turnovers and the team posted 10 caused turnovers, overall.
- Junior Lauren Trepaney had stopped 15 shots as part of a strong performance between the pipes, marking her seventh straight game with double-digit saves.
Notes & Numbers
- Merrimack’s 14th win extended its single-season school record, as the Warriors also won their first playoff game since 2011.
- Merrimack advanced to the semifinal round of the league tournament for the 10th time and first time since 2011, where it fell to Adelphi.
- Merrimack caused double-digit turnovers for the ninth game this season.
- Feminella now has 71 goals on the year, second most in the NE10. She ranks fourth in overall scoring with 88 points. DaCosta, meanwhile, is second in the conference with 57 assists.
- Shots: 38-32 (27-27 SOG)
- FPG: (MC-UNH): 3-7 // 1-10
- Draw Controls: 13-13 // Ground Balls: 17-18
- Turnovers: 15-12 (10-9 CT) // Clears: 22-25 // 20-22
A win sends Merrimack to the semifinal round of the league tournament for the first time since 2011, where it will meet four-time defending champion Adelphi on Saturday (May 5) at Motamed Field on Long Island. Game time is 11 a.m.