NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The sixth-ranked Merrimack College field hockey team won their seventh-straight game behind five goals, topping Bentley 5-2 to avenge their season-opener loss to the Falcons on Tuesday evening.
Score: #6 Merrimack 5, Bentley 2
Records: #6 Merrimack (10-2, 6-1 NE-10) | Bentley (7-6, 5-3 NE-10)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
From the early moments of this game it was clear the Warriors not only knew the importance of this game, but also remembered one of their two losses this season coming to Bentley in their season-opening game back in early September. In the first minute of the game, 44 seconds in to be exact, sophomore Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Mass.) would score her first of two goals in this game to put the Warriors up early.
Bentley would get multiple chances as well in the first half after the opening goal, but senior goalkeeper Madison Davis (San Jose, Calif.) would make some great saves in net, totaling six in all in the opening half.
Coming off her first career two-goal game, senior Lindsay Dobecki (Scarborough, Maine) would net the second of the game for Merrimack at the 23:32 mark after battling for a loose ball in front of the net and finding a way to force it by the keeper to extend the lead to two. Bentley, however, would cut the Warriors’ lead in half near the end of the first to head to the half down one.
The Falcons would carry that momentum over to the second, scoring less than two minutes into the half to tie the game up at two. That early second half goal would be the last the Falcons would get in the match, and one of the last shots they would take in the game, as the Warriors proceeded to dominate the final 33 minutes.
Hammond would score her second of the contest off of a penalty corner for the Warriors. Freshman Mary McNeil (Canton, Mass.) would deliver a hard pass across the crease that Hammond was able to tip into the top corner of the net to regain the lead for the Warriors.
Merrimack did not relent in their pressure despite the lead, and would be rewarded with a penalty stroke that sophomore Taylor Simpson (York, Maine) would take for the Warriors. Simpson would fire the ball to the lower right, fooling the keeper who was going left and netting her eighth goal of the season.
Just one minute later, with the pressure still be applied heavily by the Warriors, Merrimack would get another opportunity with a loose ball bouncing around the goal area. Dobecki would battle with a defender and the keeper for the ball from very close range. During the scrum, the ball would pop up into the air about chest-high. Junior Maura Doyle (Merrimac, Mass.), who was patiently waiting just beside the scrum for the ball to pop loose, would quickly react and swat the ball out of the air and into the net for the fifth of the game and her first of the season.
Inside The Numbers
- Hammond has been on a rampant pace offensively in recent matches, as she has scored eight goals in the last seven games, with goals coming in six of those seven contests.
- Simpson’s penalty stroke goal is the third of its kind for her this season, as she has gone 3-4 on penalty stroke attempts.
- While the second half was a much more evenly matched battle, the Warriors would dominate the possession in the latter half and outshoot the Falcons 18-3.
The Warriors continue big Northeast-10 Conference games on Thursday when they travel to Southern New Hampshire for a 7:00 p.m. matchup with the Penmen.