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Women’s Lacrosse’s Comeback Falls Just Short on Senior Day

Links: Box Score | Highlights

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team clawed back to tie the score in the second half against Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium, but a late Pioneer run turned out to be the difference in a 9-7 setback on senior day.    

 

After they trailed 6-3 at the half, the Warriors enjoyed a rapid 3-0 run in the second half that quickly deadlocked the sides. Another comeback attempt was in the works after the Pioneers regained the lead, but time ran out on the hosts.

 
Haley Bartlett’s two goals paced the Merrimack attack and six different goal scorers found the scoresheet.

 
Gabby Cacciola continued her strong play in the latter stages of the season, as she made 11 saves on 20 shots on goal. The .550 save percentage for the game marked her best performance of the year to date.

The Basics
Score: Sacred Heart 9, Merrimack 7
Records: Merrimack (2-10, 2-8 NEC) | Sacred Heart (6-7, 6-6 NEC)

How It Happened

  • The seniors paced the offensive attack in the first half for the Warriors, including a quick goal from Bartlett just over a minute into the game off a free position to give Merrimack the lead.
  • Sacred Heart tied the score at one at 20:25, but the deadlock was short lived. Four minutes later, Taylor Darrell took the ball on the edge of the arc and fought her way through traffic before she finished for her 18th of the season. 
  • The Pioneers would not go away and tied the score again at 15:19.
  • In her first game of the season, Lulu Sweeney had some fireworks just 25 seconds later to give the Warriors their third lead of the half. She faked a shot at the top of the arc, then switched hands and ripped one home from the near side. 
  • The visitors found their game in the closing 15 minutes, as they went on a 4-0 run to close the opening half hour to claim a 6-3 lead at the break.
  • It was a defensive struggle in the opening 10 minutes of the second half until the Warriors broke through and quickly took momentum. Vicki Palmer got the Merrimack run started at 20:08 on a free position, then Bartlett scored her second of the day on a great dish from Natalie Calkins just 65 seconds later. 
  • It took just another 43 seconds for the Warriors to tie the score when Meghan Dzialo netted her first of the afternoon on another free position.
  • The tie score did not last, as Sacred Heart regained the lead a few minutes later, then built a 3-0 run of its own over the following three minutes to gain a 9-6 lead.
  • Merrimack started its comeback bid at 9:05 when Catherine Mahanna beat a defender to the edge and fired home her 15th of the year. 
  • Both teams traded chances in the closing nine minutes, but neither side was able to find the back of the net, as the defensive clamp pushed the Pioneers to the win.

Notes & Numbers

  • Bartlett continued to climb the ranks in the Merrimack record book during the game. Her two points brought her to 192 in her Warrior career, which passed Kelly Pasquantonio ’10 for sixth all-time.
  • Mahanna, Dzialo, Holly Schweitzer, Kelsey Daly, Cacciola and Sweeney all had one caused turnover.
  • Cacciola paced the Warriors with four ground balls.
  • Merrimack honored the Class of 2021 before the game. Mahanna, Darrell, Dzialo, Bartlett, Daly, Sweeney, Isabella Tersoni, Jenny English, Tristen Novak and Palmer were recognized along with graduate student, Ally DaCosta. Kyra Clinton, who stayed with the team as a student manager after three seasons on the team, was also honored.
  • Shots (MER-SHU): 27-27 (19-20 SOG)
  • Draw Controls (MER-SHU): 12-6 Ground Balls (MER-SHU): 13-23
  • Turnovers (MER-SHU): 19-12 // Clears (MER-SHU): 14-23 // 18-21

Up Next
Merrimack is scheduled to close the season next Saturday at Wagner. Draw control is slated for 1:00 pm.

For continuing coverage of Merrimack College Athletics, visit MerrimackAthletics.com and follow the Warriors on Twitter and on Facebook.
 

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