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Preview: Merrimack opens NE10 field hockey tournament at LIU Post

Following its thrilling 3-2 last-minute victory over Adelphi University on Saturday night, the Merrimack College field hockey program hopes to take that momentum into the postseason when the fifth-seeded Warriors travel to fourth-seeded LIU Post for an opening-round game in the Northeast-10 Championship. The contest will be played at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium in Brookville, N.Y. at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

2017 NE10 Field Hockey Championship Schedule
Tuesday, October 31 – First Round
Game 1:  #6 Assumption at #3 Pace | 4:00 PM
Game 2:  #5 Merrimack at #4 LIU Post | 1:00 PM

Friday, November 3 – Semifinals 
Game 3:  Game 2 winner at #1 Saint Anselm | 6:00 PM
Game 4:  Game 1 winner at #2 Stonehill | 6:00 PM

Sunday, November 5 – Championship (to be held at highest remaining seed) ­
Game 5:  Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner

Last Time Out:

  • Merrimack entered Saturday evening facing a win-or-go-home scenario in its regular-season finale against the Panthers. The contest also marked Senior Night, with the Navy and Gold honoring seniors Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Mass.)Riley Kane (Rye, N.H.)Mikayla Panneton(Andover, Mass.)Kayla Raneri (Reading, Mass.) and Taylor Simpson (York, Maine)
  • Merrimack got off to a quick start. Simpson scored the Warriors’ first goal in the eighth minute off a penalty-corner service from junior Delaney Yule(Southbury, Conn.). Six minutes later, sophomore Jessica Palmer (Milford, Mass.) netted her first goal of the year to double the lead
  • Yule posted two defensive saves, including an aerial stop in the second half. Raneri made her first start of the season, stopping a career-high 11 shots including seven saves in the second half
  • After Adelphi rallied to tie the game, Merrimack earned a 70th-minute penalty corner that led to the game-winner. Junior Samantha Bartush(Norwalk, Conn.) fired a centering pass towards the far post, where sophomore Lindsey Nolte (Canton, Mass.) dove to deflect the ball past the Panthers defense and into the net to win the game

‘Mack Facts:

  • Merrimack reached the NE10 Championship for the third consecutive season and have won each of its last two opening-round games
  • Last season, the Warriors also qualified for the tournament as the fifth seed, and played on Long Island at No. 4 Adelphi. Hammond netted a late goal and sophomore Katharina Ohmen (Bremen, Germany) pitched a shutout to complete the upset victory
  • Hammond ended the regular season as the team’s leader in goals (18) and points (39), ranking third in the conference in both areas
  • With one point on Tuesday, Hammond will record the first 40-point season for the program since 2013. Two goals against the Pioneers will give the forward the first 20-goal campaign since 2012
  • Ohmen enters the postseason among the top-five in the NE10 in total saves (114) and save percentage (.803). She is one of three keepers in the conference with a save percentage above .800
  • Junior Mary McNeil (Canton, Mass.) leads the Warriors with 10 assists, one of seven players in the conference in double figures. Simpson ranks right behind McNeil with eight helpers, and became the seventh player in the conference to reach 30 points on Saturday

Inside the Series:

  • Earlier this season, Merrimack lost its matchup to LIU Post, 6-1, in a game played in Brookville
  • Sophomore Miranda Judd (Lebanon, N.H.) scored the lone goal for the Warriors, which marked the her first goal of the season
  • Merrimack will be looking for its first-ever win over the Pioneers. Prior to the 2017 regular season, the previous five meetings had been decided by two goals or less

Inside the Matchup:

Merrimack (11-6) Category #5 LIU Post (15-3)
3.12 Scoring Offense 3.94
1.94 Scoring Defense 1.17
Rylie Hammond (18-3—39) Leading Scorer Emily Miller (29-6—64)
Hammond (18) Goals Leader Miller (29)
Mary McNeil (10) Assists Leader Sammy Bell (11)
Delaney Yule (6) Defensive Saves Leader Julie Gysels (2)
Katharina Ohmen (1.93) GAA Leader Rachel Vellis (1.16)
Ohmen (.803) Save Percentage Leader Vellis (.716)
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