EASTON, MA – The #11 Merrimack women's lacrosse team was defeated on Thursday night by the score of 12-8 after leading the Skyhawks 6-4 after the first half of play.
"This is a disappointing loss," said head coach Corinne Baker. "We came back from down three early on and held the lead for most of the match. We can hang with the best teams in the conference but tonight we only played 50 minutes, not 60, and against a top team that is a loss every time. We expect to rebound on Saturday at Southern Connecticut."
Mary Pasquantonio (Plainville, Mass.), playing in only her fourth game of the season, led all Warriors with three goals on six shots while also scooping up two groundballs on the night. Olivia Huie (Norwell, Mass.) finished the game with two goals, one assist and three groundballs. Senior Sarah Salatto (Guilford, CT) finished off her strong defensive night with a season-high seven groundballs and five caused turnovers for the Warriors.
The Skyhawks dominated the second half of play, outscoring Merrimack 8-2. Stonehill also outshot the Warriors 19-7 and were a perfect 7-7 on clearing attempts.
Merrimack opened the game slow as the Skyhawks took the early 3-0 advantage, scoring three goals in the first 11 minutes of action. Merrimack responded 20 seconds later with a goal of their own as Alicia Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) buried her 21st of the season.
Tyler Szymanski (Framingham, Mass.) made the game 3-2 with her 12th goal of the season with 13:49 remaining in the opening half. Senior captain Pasquantonio tied the game less than two minutes later as she scored on her free position attempt.
Pasquantonio would cap off the Warriors 4-0 scoring run with her second goal of the game, making the score 4-3 in favor of the Warriors. The Skyhawks finally ended the Warriors run with a goal of their own to tie the game with 7:11 remaining in the half.
Merrimack closed out the opening half with the final two goals as freshman Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass.) and Huie both found the back of the net making the score 6-4 in favor of the Warriors at half.
The Warriors held the 16-15 advantage in shots in the opening half while also going a perfect 10-10 in clearing attempts. Merrimack also scored two free position goals in the opening half on six attempts.
Kayla Green opened up the second half for Stonehill with her 31st goal of the season but Pasquantonio responded quickly with her third goal of the game after a Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass.) pass, giving Merrimack the 7-5 lead.
Stonehill would take the lead, 9-7, just over seven minutes later as they connected on four straight goals including three free position goals and three goals from Sarah Galligan.
The Stonehill lead would blossom to three with 12:23 remaining in the game before Huie found the back of the net on her free position attempt, making the score 10-8 in favor of the Skyhawks.
The Warriors however were not able to pull any closer, allowing Stonehill to score the final two goals of the game to secure the 12-8 victory on Thursday night.
Sam Kiesel (Andover, Mass.) finished the game with 13 saves for the Warriors while Stonehill goalie Ashley Armstrong recorded nine stops on the night. Jennifer Cronin (Norwell, Mass.) had a solid game defensively causing three turnovers and scooping up two groundballs.
For the night, the Warriors were outshot 34-23 and they picked up nine draw controls compared to the Skyhawks 13. Merrimack went 17-22 on clearing attempts while the home team was nearly perfect going 16-17.
The Warriors (4-7, 4-5 NE-10) will stay on the road for a game on Saturday April 14 against Southern Connecticut State at 1 pm.