NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 15 Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team found itself in a tight battle in the opening half, rallying from a pair of deficits thanks to a late surge to draw even, but the Warriors would run away with it in the second stanza, outscoring host Southern Connecticut State by an 8-1 margin on the way to a 16-9 Northeast-10 Conference road victory on Saturday afternoon.
Score: Merrimack 16, Southern Conn. 9
Records: #15 Merrimack (11-4, 8-3 NE10) | Southern Conn. (4-11, 3-9 NE10)
Location: Jess Dow Field | New Haven, Conn.
NE10 TOURNAMENT PICTURE
Top-eight qualify for tournament; seeds 1-4 host 5-8 in quarterfinals on 5/2; highest remaining seed hosts semis & finals 5/5-6
T1. Adelphi (11-0)
T1. Le Moyne (11-0)
3. Merrimack (8-3) H2H vs. BEN & STA
4. Pace (7-3) H2H vs. MC
T5. New Haven (7-4)
T5. Bentley (7-4)
7. Saint Anselm (6-4)
8. Assumption (5-6)
9. Stonehill (5-7) H2H vs. FPU
10. Franklin Pierce (4-7)
- Southern Connecticut controlled the tempo in the early goings, scoring the first two tallies of the afternoon to open a 2-0 lead. That would be answered by back-to-back goals from senior Annette Ruggiero and freshman Haley Bartlett, but the Owls answered yet again to edge in front by one (3-2) with just over 20 minutes left in the half.
- Merrimack scored four of the game’s next five goals to grab its largest lead at that point (6-4), with Bartlett and junior Amber Feminella combining for all four goals, but that momentum swung back in the hosts’ favor with four uninterrupted markers from the Owls, who went from down two to up two (8-6) with 10:22 left in the half.
- Feminella and sophomore Ally DaCosta, however, would turn the tide back in favor of the visitors with back-to-back goals in less than a minute, making it an 8-8 affair after 30 minutes.
- As close as the first half was, the Warriors would run away with it in the second stanza and turned it into a no-doubter. Merrimack scored the first four goals of the half to build a four-goal lead (12-8), saw Southern Connecticut add one while a player up, and then promptly reeled off four more unanswered strikes to account for the final margin of victory.
- Both DaCosta (3g, 3a) and Bartlett (5g, 1a) led the way with six points, while Feminella was close behind with five points on the strength of another four-goal outing.
- Rookie Lulu Sweeney also was a multi-goal scorer on Saturday for the first time in her career, while Ruggiero and junior Bridget Schofield added a goal apiece.
- DaCosta tied her career-high with three goals, while senior Carly McKenna also did so with three draw controls.
- Junior Lauren Trepaney had another double-digit save outing with 10 stops and had a career-high five ground balls.
- Rookie Kelsey Daly led Merrimack again in caused turnovers with three.
Notes & Numbers
- Merrimack is now one win shy of its best season in seven years, when the Warriors won 12 games as part of a 12-7 record in the 2011 season.
- Merrimack converted 22 clears, a season-high, in Saturday’s win.
- Feminella now has 62 goals on the year, good for first in the NE10. She ranks fourth in overall scoring with 75 points.
- Shots: 34-26 (25-19 SOG)
- FPG: (MC-SCSU): 3-6 // 1-5
- Draw Controls: 9-18 // Ground Balls: 22-14
- Turnovers: 16-20 (9-7 CT) // Clears: 22-24 // 14-16
Merrimack wraps up its regular season road slate with a midweek trip to Franklin Pierce next Wednesday (April 25) at 7:30 p.m.