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NORTH ANDOVER, MASS. – The Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team lost in another closely contested game, 11-10, against Saint Michael’s College in Northeast-10 Conference action from Martone-Mejail Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Warriors have now lost by just one goal in three of their last four games.

Links: Highlights | Box Score

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 10
| Saint Michael’s 11
Records: Merrimack (3-5, 1-4 NE-10)
| Saint Michael’s (1-4, 1-3 NE-10)
Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

How It Happened
The opening few minutes of the first half did not start out well for the Warriors, as Saint Michael’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first 2:46 of the game. Paige McKinnon opened up the scoring just 63 seconds into the game, and then Kealy Moyna scored her third of the season on a free position to increase the Purple Knights’ advantage.

The Warriors answered with a 4-0 run to pull ahead. Merrimack’s first goal came courtesy of Kelly Metzger (Trumbull, Conn.) with an assist from freshman Alexa Emma(Suffield, Conn.). For Emma, it was her first career point. Fellow rookie Annette Ruggiero (Peabody, Mass.) scored two of the next three goals for the Navy and Gold, who lead 4-2 with 12:33 left in the opening stanza.

The scoring drought for the Purple Knights ended just 90 seconds later, when Kim Liberty scored her first of consecutive goals to make it 4-3. The Warriors scored the final two goals of the half, holding the Purple Knights scoreless over the final 6:46, to take a 6-4 lead into halftime.

Freshman goalkeeper Alexa Petzold (Ridgewood, N.J.) totaled four saves over the first 30 minutes. The Purple Knights coughed the ball up nine times, resulting in three failed clears (6-of-9). The visitors did have a 7-4 advantage in draw controls.

Saint Michael’s took the game over at the start of the second stanza. The Purple Knights began the final 30 minutes on a 4-0 run to turn a two-goal deficit into a two-goal advantage. Steph Bonewald began and finished the run with goals and with 19:38 remaining in the game, the visitors led, 8-6.

Senior midfielder Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass.) snapped the run with less than 18 minutes to play, making it 8-7 after she scored when goalkeeper Casey Curtin inexplicably vacated the cage, allowed Palombo to shoot at an open net. The Warriors were unable to sustain the pressure, as the Purple Knights responded with a 3-0 to take their largest lead of the game at 11-7 with 12:22 to play.

The Navy and Gold would not go away. Senior midfielder Christine Keenan (Byfield, Mass.) went high-to-high to score with 9:39 left, and five minutes later Danielle Riley(West Point, N.Y.) snuck one past Curtin to make it 11-9 with 4:38 to go. Trailing by two, Merrimack needed to get extended offensive zone time, but Saint Michael’s ability to win at the draw prevented the Warriors from doing so. Merrimack got possession back with less than 30 seconds to play, and Riley scored with 0.8 seconds on the clock, but it was too little too late for the Warriors.

Merrimack dropped its fourth consecutive games, all of which have come in league play. The Purple Knights collected their first victory of the 2015 campaign.

Inside The Numbers

  • Saint Michael’s success on the draw was pivotal in the outcome of the contest. The Purple Knights won seven of 11 draw controls in each half, giving them the ability to control the pace of the game
  • Riley and Ruggiero were the lone Warriors to have multi-point games, as each player totaled two goals. The Navy and Gold finished with eight different goal scorers
  • Metzger led the team with three draw controls, while Keenan paced the squad with three ground balls. Senior defender Olivia Coakley (Bridgewater, Mass.) finished as the lone Warrior with a caused turnover
  • Each team totaled 13 turnovers, with four of the Purple Knights’ miscues resulting in failed clears. Merrimack was only able to total 20 shots on goal, while the visitors finished with 25 attempts

Up Next
The Navy and Gold return to action on Saturday afternoon when the Warriors battle Southern Connecticut at 1 p.m. from Martone-Mejail Field. The game will celebrated as Youth Day, click here for sign-up information!

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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