WLAX: Merrimack’s Upset Bid Over #12 New Haven Falls Short
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team had a one-goal lead at halftime against the 12th-ranked team in the country and then nearly rallied all the way back to tie it, but the Warriors’ upset bid of the University of New Haven fell short on Saturday, as the Chargers held on for an 11-10 victory in Northeast-10 Conference action. Merrimack has now dropped two one-goal games to nationally ranked opponents this year.
Score: New Haven 11, Merrimack 10
Records: Merrimack (3-4, 1-2 NE10) | #12 New Haven (5-0, 3-0 NE10)
Location: Arcadio “Kayo” Rodrigues, Jr. Field | West Haven, Conn.
- After New Haven built an early two-goal lead, an undaunted Merrimack squad went to work, finding the back of the net four times in a seven-minute span to grab control of the game. The Chargers would get one late first-half marker to cut the deficit to one (4-3) at the break.
- That goal, however, would start the beginning of a run of six straight Charger goals that wound up being the difference in the game. New Haven scored five times in the first 11-plus minutes of the second half to turn its two-goal deficit into a four-goal lead (8-4).
- Down by four, the Warriors broke that stretch with back-to-back goals two minutes apart to get to within two, but New Haven came right back with two consecutive strikes in a 40-second span to take that momentum back, as the Chargers led by a 10-6 score with 11:35 to go.
- Merrimack was undaunted, again going to work quickly with two tallies a minute apart to again put the pressure back on the Chargers, but the hosts would answer with the game-deciding salvo coming with 8:38 left, pushing New Haven in front by three (11-8).
- The Warriors would not go quietly, as sophomore Amber Feminella (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and freshman Kyra Schwartzman (Kennebunk, Maine) each found the back of the net in succession to make it a one-goal game with over three minutes left. But the Warriors were denied of the equalizer by UNH goalkeeper Gianna Guerra, who came up with two huge stops – including one on Feminella off a free position attempt – to preserve the lead, and the win, for the Chargers.
Highlights and Notables
- Feminella highlighted the Merrimack offense with her best showing of the season; the sophomore tied her single-game high in assists with three while tallying seven points overall on four goals – including a career-best two free-position strikes. She finished one point back of her single-game career high (8) and also shared the team lead in draw controls (4).
- Classmate Bridget Schofield (Littleton, Mass.) also had a hat trick for the Warriors – her third of the season – while senior Hunter McCarthy (Avon, Conn.), Schwartzman and junior Annette Ruggiero (Peabody, Mass.) also had a goal each.
- Rookie Courtney Capobianco (Oceanside, N.Y.) was strong on the defensive front, setting new career-highs with four ground balls and a team-high three caused turnovers.
- Merrimack nearly has two upset bids of ranked teams now after suffering a similar one-goal loss to then-No. 15 NYIT back in the season opener on Feb. 28.
Team Leaders (MC // UNH)
- Points: Feminella (7) // Kendall Cietek/Jessica Mazliah (6)
- Goals: Feminella (4) // Mazliah (5)
- Assists: Feminella (3) // Cietek (2)
- Draw Controls: Feminella/Ruggiero (4) // Two players (2)
- Ground Balls: Capobianco (4) // Hannah Johnson (4)
- Caused Turnovers: Capobianco (3) // Raven Linton (5)
- Saves: Lauren Trepaney (8) // Gianna Guerra (6)
Team Comparisons (MC // UNH)
- Shots (Total/SOG): 22/16 // 27/20
- Draw Controls: 15 // 8
- Ground Balls: 14 // 19
- Clears: 15-20 // 15-18
- Turnovers: 20 // 16
Merrimack will stay on the road when it visits Southern New Hampshire for another league matchup on Wednesday (March 29) at 4 p.m.