FIELD HOCKEY: Merrimack tops #10 Franklin Pierce

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College field hockey team used two first-half goals and a six-save performance from senior goalie Madison Davis (San Jose, Calif.) to hold off 10th-ranked Franklin Pierce to win, 2-1, on Friday afternoon. The Warriors defeated their second ranked opponent of the season and are now 2-1 in 2015 against top-10 opponents.

Links: Box Score

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 2
 | #10 Franklin Pierce 1
Records: Merrimack (5-2, 2-1 NE-10)
 | #10 Franklin Pierce (5-3, 1-2 NE-10)
Location:
 Sodexo Field | Rindge, N.H.

What They Said
Head coach Anne Rounce: “It was an evenly matched game, we did a lot of things well to be able to come away with the win. Maddy kept us in the game, especially late in the second half, she definitely stepped up for us today. We’re happy to get an important conference win, but still have things to work on moving forward.”

How It Happened
The ranked Ravens started off the Northeast-10 Conference contest strong, recording two penalty corners and two shots over the first four minutes, forcing Davis to make her first save of the afternoon.

Freshman Mary McNeil (Canton, Mass.) and sophomore Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Mass.) recorded consecutive shots that were stopped by Ravens goalie Meaghan Williams. The Warriors received at penalty corner midway through the first half and capitalized. Sophomore Taylor Simpson (York, Maine) drove the ball towards the net where Mcneil was waiting to score the opening goal on a deflection.

With less than five minutes remaining in the half, the Ravens responded. Also capitalizing on a corner, the hosts delivered the ball in front of Davis’ cage, where Carly Canavan found the loose ball and scored to tie the game, 1-1.

The Warriors scored the eventual winner with only 1:40 left on the clock in the first stanza. Moving towards the attacking zone on the rush, Mcneil delivered a pass to Hammed in the middle of the circle, and the sophomore’s shot deflected off Williams and into the net. That 2-1 score would hold for the remainder of the half.

Merrimack controlled the first half of the second stanza, but the Ravens were able to garner some chances late in the game. Davis made her first save of the second half with less the 13 minutes to go in the contest. Three minutes later, she deliverd two consecutive saves in a span of three seconds, stopping Canavan’s rebound attempt for her fifth save of the game.

The Ravens pulled Williams over the final two minutes to try and score an equalizer, but were unable to even record a shot with the extra attacker.

With the victory, Merrimack improved to 5-2 on the year and 2-1 in conference play, while the Ravens dropped to 5-3 and 1-2 in the conference play.

Inside The Numbers

  • Hammond now has two straight multi-point games and points in four of her last five contests. The second-year player now has four goals and two assists on the year
  • McNeil continues to improve with her three-point afternoon. She now sits tied for third in goals scored in the conference with five, and leads the Warriors in that category
  • Davis’ six saves marked the second most on the year, as she posted eight stop against fifth-ranked LIU Post earlier in the year. She increased her save percentage to .793 on the year and now owns a 1.33 goals against average
  • The Warriors outshot the Ravens by five, 17-12, and won 18 penalty corners compared to only 10 for Franklin Pierce

Up Next
The Navy and Gold return to action on Tuesday afternoon to take on Pace — who is in the midst of its inaugural season of varsity competition — at Martone-Mejail Field, with action slated to start at 4:30.

About Mike McMahon 6221 Articles
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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