Merrimack Women’s Lax Beats Roberts Wesleyan in Opener

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Fueled by a career-high six-goal outburst from junior attack Hunter McCarthy(Avon, Conn.) and an all-around solid effort in all three ends, the Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team opened its 2016 season with a  16-11 victory against Roberts Wesleyan College on Sunday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 16,
 Roberts Wesleyan 11
Records: Merrimack (1-0)
 | Roberts Wesleyan (1-3)
 Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

Links: Box Score | Highlights

How It Happened
After a defensive stalemate over the first eight minutes of the game, Merrimack broke things open at the 21:57 mark of the first, as sophomore Carly McKenna (Saco, Maine)tallied the first goal of 2016 and then added another one off the ensuing draw control to give the Warriors a quick 2-0 advantage.

Roberts Wesleyan answered on its next possession, but that only sparked three straight markers from the hosts, with McCarthy tallying two of them sandwiched around freshman Amber Feminella‘s (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) first career goal to build a 5-1 lead.

The rest of the half saw both sides trade goals for the most part, as McCarthy potted two more while two other freshmen – Bridget Schofield (Littleton, Mass.) and classmate Erin Blomberg (Wading River, N.Y.) – added to Merrimack’s offensive output with their first career goals to send the Warriors into halftime with a  9-5 advantage.

The Navy and Gold raced out of the gate in the second half with goals from McKenna, Feminella and Schofield, and another McCarthy strike upped the lead to 13-6 with about 15 minutes to play in regulation. Junior Clare Blomberg (Wading River, N.Y.) got on the board for her first goal of the year before Feminella hit the hat trick while McCarthy added her sixth to wrap up the Warriors’ scoring total.

Roberts Wesleyan clawed back with four late-game tallies, but that was the closest the visitors would get before the final horn sounded.

Notes and Numbers

  • McCarthy’s six goals were a new career-high, as she previously posted a four-goal game in last year’s season opener; she tied her career-high in total scoring with seven points, which was also set in last year’s season opener
  • Feminella and McKenna also added hat tricks of their own, while Schofield was a multi-point producer with two goals and an assist to round out the Warriors’ top offensive contributors
  • Defensively, Merrimack caused seven turnovers, including two each from Schofield and Feminella
  • Schofield, Erin Blomberg and senior Danielle Riley (West Point, N.Y.) finished with a  team-high three draw controls, as well
  • Goaltenders: W – Alexa Petzold (2 saves, 1-0) // L – Shannon Knapp (10 saves, 1-3)
  • SOG: Merrimack – 29 // RWC – 17
  • Ground Balls: Merrimack – 32 // RWC – 26
  • Clears: Merrimack (13-for-14) // RWC (11-for-17)

Up Next
Merrimack will play its next five games away from home starting with a trip to Dobbs Ferry, New York, to face its second straight ECC foe in Mercy next Saturday, March 5. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

About Mike McMahon 6234 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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