NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Sophomore Colleen Ellis and junior Alex Mondini tallied first-half goals, junior goalkeeper Katharina Ohmen picked up four of her game-high five saves in the second half and the No. 5 and second-seeded Merrimack College field hockey program topped No. 9 and sixth-seeded Stonehill College, 2-1, on Friday from Duane Stadium to advance to Sunday’s Northeast-10 Conference Championship game. The Warriors will host the contest for the third time in program history, and face either fourth-seeded Saint Anselm or eighth-seeded Assumption at 1 p.m. on campus.
It was a tale of two halves on Friday in semifinals as Merrimack dominated the first stanza to the tune of an 8-1 advantage in shots, and a 2-0 edge on the scoreboard through 35 minutes. Stonehill responded by limiting the Warriors to two shot attempts in the final half, but Merrimack’s defense only relented once to keep Merrimack on top. Come Sunday afternoon, the Warriors will have a chance to win their first conference tournament title in program history after a pair of regular season crowns in 2011 and 2012.
With the win, the Warriors improved to 17-3 overall in 2018, tying the school record for victories in a season.
Score: #5 Merrimack 2, #9 Stonehill 1
Records: #5 Merrimack (17-3) | #9 Stonehill (13-7)
Location: North Andover, Mass. | Duane Stadium
NE10 Championship Schedule
Tuesday, November 13
Quarterfinals – at Higher Seeds
Game 1: #8 Assumption def. #1 Pace (1-0)
Game 2: #2 Merrimack def. #7 Bentley (3-1)
Game 3: #6 Stonehill def. #3 LIU Post (7-1)
Game 4: #4 Saint Anselm def. #5 Southern New Hampshire (4-2)
Friday, November 16
Semifinals – at Higher Seeds
Game 5: #8 Assumption at #4 Saint Anselm (4 p.m.)
Game 6: #6 Stonehill at #2 Merrimack (4 p.m.)
Sunday, November 18
Game 7: #8 Assumption/#4 Saint Anselm vs. #2 Merrimack (1 p.m.)
- MC (1-0) – On the Warriors’ second corner of the game, Merrimack capitalized. Sophomore Colleen Ellis gained possession outside of the far post, and the brought the ball towards Stonehill’s keeper. Her first shot came off the goalie’s pad, but right back to her as she deposited the rebound into the net to give the hosts a 1-0 lead just six minutes into the game
- MC (2-0) – An impressive display of hands gave Merrimack its second goal with eight minutes left. Junior Alex Mondini inserted a corner then made her way to the far post. A shot took a deflection off a Stonehill back, and elevated, but Mondini was able to react and redirect the ball home
- STO (2-1) – Stonehill’s lone tally came with a shade over 10 minutes to play. Three-time NE10 Player of the Year Kacie Smith had her initial shot blocked, but recovered to regain possession and placed a shot inside the far post to cut the visitors’ deficit in half. Stonehill would only attempt one shot over the remainder of the game, however, as its comeback bid ended there
- After she didn’t see a shot until the waning seconds of the first half, Ohmen emerged as a star in the second stanza. She finished the night with five saves overall (four in the second half) to record her 15th win of the season and 32nd of her career
- Ellis’ individual effort moved her into a tie for second on the team with nine goals on the season. She led the team with three shots, all of which were on target
- Mondini has now scored twice in Merrimack’s last three games. Her marker registered as her first at home since September against AIC (9/22)
Notes and Notables
- Merrimack’s NE10 Final berth is the first for the program since back-to-back trips in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Warriors’ win in the semifinals on Friday marked the first appearance in the NE10’s final four since 2016
- Friday also went down as the program’s first postseason win over Stonehill since the Warriors bested the Skyhawks in the national semifinals in 2015 to reach Merrimack’s first-ever national championship game
- The program has now won 17 games in a season on three occasions as the 2018 squad joined the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Warriors with 17 triumphs. Merrimack will now have Sunday’s NE10 Final as well as a potential berth in the NCAA Tournament to set a new school record for wins
- Ohmen continues to move up the Merrimack leaderboard in career wins, and now needs three more to move a tie for second in school history (35)
Merrimack will host the third NE10 Final in program history on Sunday afternoon when the Warriors welcome either fourth-seeded Saint Anselm or eighth-seeded Assumption to Duane Stadium. The championship game is slated to begin at 1 p.m. on campus.