Home Field Hockey Preview: No.5 Merrimack hosts No. 9 Stonehill in NE10 semifinal on Friday...

Preview: No.5 Merrimack hosts No. 9 Stonehill in NE10 semifinal on Friday afternoon

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Merrimack College Field Hockey vs. Pace University at Martone-Mejail Field in N. Andover, MA on September 17, 2017. Photo: Mike Gridley

The No. 5 and second-seeded Merrimack College field hockey program will play host to No. 9 and sixth-seeded Stonehill College in the semifinal round of the NE10 Championship on Friday at 4 p.m. from Duane Stadium. The Warriors claimed a 3-1 win in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, and with a win, will host the NE10 Final on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m.) for the third time in program history and first since 2012.  

Ticket prices will remain the same as Tuesday’s game: Adults will be charged $6 and seniors/children $4. All Merrimack students with a valid Mack Card will receive free entry, while any student from another NE10 institution will be charged $1. 

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
Championship (to be held at highest remaining seed) 
Game 7:  Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

Inside the Series:

  • The Warriors have a 13-19 all-time record against Stonehill in 32 contests.
  • Earlier in the season, Merrimack defeated Stonehill at home, 3-1, led by senior Mary McNeil who added a goal and an assist. In the previous meeting, the Warriors went up two goals before the Skyhawks tallied a score of their own to make it a one-goal game. Merrimack put it out of reach by adding an insurance marker with less than three minutes to play
  • Merrimack and Stonehill last met in the NE10 Championship in 2013, which also happened to be in the semifinals. The Skyhawks emerged with a 3-2 victory. The programs’ last postseason meeting occurred in 2015, when Merrimack knocked off Stonehill, 1-0, the national semifinals to reach the program’s first-ever national championship game

Five Things to Know:

  • Junior goalkeeper Katharina Ohmen ranks fourth in the NE10 and 11th in the country in goals against average (1.34); she ranks first in the NE10 and third in the country in save percentage (.805) and fourth in goals against (23).
  • McNeil scored her 40th goal of her career last Tuesday night, making her the first ever player in program history with 40 career goals and 40 career assists. She leads her team in goals (16), assists (14), and points (46) while also ranking second in the country in assists per game (.74), and seventh in points per game (2.42). She sits two assists away from tying the program’s single-season record, as well
  • Merrimack ranks fifth in the country in Division II and is currently second in the NE10 rankings following their win over Bentley. In the win the Warriors took an early 1-0 lead on a goal from junior Lindsey Nolte. Bentley was able to tie it up going into halftime but would not be able to get anything else going as Merrimack scored twice, unanswered, in the second half
  • As a team, Merrimack ranks fifth in the country in goals per game (3.47), sixth in points per game (8.89), second in save percentage (.823), fifth scoring average (3.44), fifth in scoring margin (2.25), third winning percentage (.842), and first in penalty corners per game (12.74)
  • Senior Captain Delaney Yule was named NE10 Defensive Player of the Year, Katharina Ohmen was named NE10 Goalkeeper of the Year, and fellow senior captain McNeil joined the major award winners as a all-conference first-team member. Junior Miranda Judd received second team honors, senior Samantha Bartush and junior Jessica Palmer received third team honors, and freshmen Juliane Ohmen and Bridget Shanahan were slated as part of the all-rookie team. Merrimack’s eight selections were the most of any NE10 program

Inside the Matchup:

#5 Merrimack (16-3, 11-2 NE10)Category#9 Stonehill (13-6, 8-5 NE10)
3.47Scoring Offense3.40
1.21Scoring Defense1.45
Mary McNeil (16-14—46)Leading ScorerKacie Smith (31-10-72)
McNeil (16)Goals LeaderSmith (31)
McNeil (14)Assists LeaderSmith (10)
Miranda Judd/Delaney Yule (3)Defensive Saves LeaderElaine Bachelder (3)
Katharina Ohmen (1.34)GAA LeaderSara Freedman (1.39)
Ohmen (.805)Save Percentage LeaderFreedman (.792)

Up Next
With a win over Stonehill, Merrimack will host the winner of eighth-seeded Assumption at fourth-seeded Saint Anselm in the NE10 Championship on Sunday, Nov. 18th, at Duane Stadium. With a loss the Warriors will find out their fate for the NCAA Tournament at 3 p.m. on Monday Nov. 19 on www.ncaa.com via the NCAA Division II Selection Show.

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