Colchester, VT – The #12 Merrimack women's lacrosse team kept their playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night with a 14-4 victory over the Saint Michael's Purple Knights. Five Warriors scored two or more goals in the game.
"We came out with a necessary win today," said head coach Corinne Baker. "Sam Kiesel had a great game in the cage for us."
Mary Pasquantonio (Plainville, Mass.) led all scorers on the day with five total points including a team-high three goals. Senior Alicia Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also connected on three goals for the Warriors and leading scorer Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass.) finished off her impressive game with two goals and two assists.
The Warriors closed out the opening half on an 8-0 scoring run to put the game out of reach for the Purple Knights.
The Purple Knights opened up the scoring just over two minutes into the game as Caitlin Mahoney found the back of the net. The Warriors however responded less than a minute later as Dara Hayes (Calgary, Alberta) put home her third goal of the season to level the score at one.
Over the next six minutes the Warriors lead blossomed to 6-1 as Strachan buried her team leading 35th goal of the season. Pasquantonio and Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass.) finished the half with goals of their own to make the halftime lead 8-1 in favor of the Warriors.
Merrimack held the advantage in shots through the opening 30 minutes, 18-5, and went 13-14 on clearing attempts. Merrimack went 2-9 on free position attempts in the first half and held Saint Michael's to 0-2.
The Purple Knights opened up the second half with two consecutive goals to make the score 8-3 with 21:49 remaining in the game. Merrimack didn't flinch as they responded with a 6-0 scoring run of their own to extend their lead to 14-3. Tinsley scored twice over the run and Sarah Salatto (Guilford, CT) finished the run with her second goal of the season.
Saint Michael's scored the final goal of the game with just under 10 seconds remaining to give the Warriors the 14-4 road victory.
Sam Kiesel (Andover, Mass.) continued her solid play in net as she made seven saves to earn her fourth victory of the season. Defensively the Warriors were led by senior Jennifer Cronin (Norwell, Mass.) who finished with a game-high three caused turnovers and three groundballs. Kristin Elliott (Amherst, NH) scooped up four groundballs and caused two turnovers in the victory. Jenn Pino (North Andover, Mass.) continued her good offensive play with two goals and one assist.
For the game, Merrimack outshot the Purple Knights 34-12 and they were also successful on 18 of 22 clearing attempts. Merrimack controlled 13 draws compared to the Saint Michael's seven. The stingy Merrimack defense held the Purple Knights to only four goals, second lowest total of the season, and forced a season-high 28 turnovers.
Merrimack (6-7, 6-5 NE-10) stays on the road Saturday April 21 for a non conference matchup with Dowling at 1:00 pm.