NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Despite holding a four-goal lead with just under 20 minutes to play and hat tricks from three different players, the Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team dropped a back-and-forth, Northeast-10 Conference battle against Southern New Hampshire, 16-14, on Wednesday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.
Score: Southern New Hampshire 16, Merrimack 14
Records: Merrimack (3-5, 0-4 NE-10) | Southern New Hampshire (6-3, 3-3 NE-10)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
Looking to get back in the win column, Merrimack welcomed SNHU to campus aiming for its first conference win of the season, although two of the previous three league losses were by a single goal.
After Southern New Hampshire opened the scoring in the second minute of play, the Warriors reeled off four straight tallies by four different scorers to grab a 4-1 lead with 22:50 to go in the first half. The two sides would then exchange goals over a four-minute span before the Penmen drew even with three uninterrupted goals, making it a 6-6 game with 10:57 remaining in the opening stanza.
Freshman Amber Feminella (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) recorded her seventh hat trick of the season to push the Warriors back up, but Kristin Wilder would answer with one of her game-high five goals for the visitors, sending the game into halftime deadlocked at 7-7.
Whatever adjustments the Warriors made during the intermission appeared to work, as Merrimack outscored SNHU by a 5-1 margin over the first 11 minutes of the second half, as junior Hunter McCarthy (Avon, Conn.) was particularly impressive in scoring goals 2-4 on the afternoon to build the hosts’ lead to a game-high four-goal margin (12-8). Freshman Bridget Schofield (Littleton, Mass.) also recorded her own hat trick, as the Warriors took control of the game with 19:01 remaining.
But Southern New Hampshire pulled out of the tailspin and ultimately took the lead for good in the midst of a game-deciding eight-goal run from the 18:20 mark all the way down to the 56th minute of regulation, as the Penmen went from four goals down to four goals up (16-12).
Feminella would will the Warriors back into it with back-to-back goals off free positions, as suddenly the home side found itself down by just two with 1:52 to play.
Off the ensuing draw control, Merrimack would force a turnover to get possession back and cycle deep behind the Penmen net to try and set up a play. However, the Warriors gave the ball right back and SNHU ran out the clock from there on out to seal the victory.
Notes and Numbers
- In addition to her five goals – which tied a career-high – Feminella also dished three assists to finish with a career-high eight points on the afternoon
- Behind her, McCarthy produced seven points by means of four goals and three assists, while Schofield posted her second hat trick (3g) in the past thee games and had an outstanding possession game thanks to a career-high eight draw controls
- Senior Danielle Riley (West Point, N.Y.) also finished with two goals for the Warriors, who saw four other players register assists to round out the offense
- Merrimack caused 10 turnovers defensively with freshman Erin Blomberg (Wading River, N.Y.) leading the way on that front with four of them, while sophomore Alexa Petzold (Ridgewood, N.J.) started the game and posted nine saves before freshman Lauren Trepaney (Nashua, N.H.) took over for the final 9:23 of regulation
- SOG: Merrimack – 24 // SNHU – 25
- Ground Balls: Merrimack – 17 // SNHU – 26
- Draw Controls: Merrimack – 17 // SNHU – 15
- Clears: Merrimack (9-for-17) // SNHU (13-for-19)
Merrimack will continue league play and open up the month of April on Saturday (April 2) in Pleasantville, New York, as the Warriors take on Pace University starting at 12 p.m.