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Women’s Lacrosse’s Valiant Comeback Falls Just Short against LIU

Links: Box Score | Highlights

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College women’s lacrosse team had a pair of second half runs against LIU Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium, but it ultimately ran out of time in a 12-11 setback to the Sharks.

Meghan Dzialo continued to build on her NEC-leading goal scoring pace when she netted seven on the day, including five in the second half. She had three straight in the closing four minutes to bring the Warriors within one, but the clock ran out on the hosts.

Taylor Darrell had another strong performance with four points on a goal and three assists and Haley Bartlett chipped in with three points, including a pair of goals.

Gabby Cacciola returned to the Warrior cage after she missed three games and made nine saves to keep her side in the game.  

The Basics
Score: LIU 12, Merrimack 11
Records: Merrimack (1-8, 1-6 NEC) | LIU (8-2, 6-2 NEC)

How It Happened

  • The Sharks found the game’s first goal 52 seconds in, then Merrimack turned the tides. Dzialo got her big day started when she tied the game at 27:11, then gave the Warriors the lead 45 seconds after off a great feed from Catherine Mahanna
  • LIU grabbed momentum for the rest of the opening half hour on the strength of a 6-0 run to take a 7-2 lead into the halftime break.
  • The Warriors came out a rejuvenated group in the second half and fought hard to get back in the game. Bartlett got the comeback started at 27:33 when she took a pass from Darrell in front and quickly turned and finished. 
  • LIU got it back 50 seconds later, but Merrimack started a trend in the second half of not going away when Darrell scored at 25:11 to bring the deficit back to four.
  • The Sharks pushed the lead back to five at 23:48, but the Warriors came alive after that. Dzialo finished her hat trick at 20:45 on a long range bomb, then Bartlett tallied a free position marker 49 seconds later to bring the Warriors to within three.
  • Merrimack’s push continued with just over 17 minutes to play when Dzialo had another deep rip find the back of the net, then Mahanna made it a one-goal game with 13:45 to go off a great juke to cut inside on a Shark defender. 
  • The Sharks looked to shake loose in the next five minutes with a three-goal run, but the Warriors refused to go down.
  • Dzialo had her fifth of the day with 3:41 to play off a pass from Natalie Calkins to bring the Warriors to within three, then she made it a two-goal game with 1:30 go off an assist from Darrell. 
  • The senior battled free and scored off a pass from Bartlett with just 36 seconds left to play to bring the deficit down to one.
  • In the closing moments, the Sharks corralled the ball and were able to run out the clock amidst tons of defensive pressure from the Warriors.

Notes & Numbers

  • Dzialo’s seven goals marked a single game career-high. She now has 33 tallies on the year, which leads the team and tops the NEC with 3.67 goals per game.
  • Kelsey Daly had another solid day defensively with a team-high three caused turnovers. It’s the second straight game that she’s forced a trio of turnovers.
  • Dzialo and Bartlett tied for the team-high in ground balls with four.
  • Bartlett set a single game career-high in draw controls with six.
  • Dzialo now has 70 career goals with nearly half of them scored in 2021.
  • Bartlett now has 181 career points and is one away from tying Colleen Strachan ’12 for eighth all-time at Merrimack. 
  • Shots (MER-LIU): 26-32 (19-21 SOG)
  • Draw Controls (MER-LIU): 12-13 Ground Balls (MER-LIU): 15-22
  • Turnovers (MER-LIU): 22-19 // Clears (MER-LIU): 13-21 // 13-18

Up Next
The Warriors stay at Duane Stadium Wednesday afternoon for another NEC battle against Central Connecticut. Draw control is slated for 3:00 pm.      

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

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