NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – In a game that saw neither side ever have more than a two-goal lead, it was visiting Southern Connecticut State that rallied with two goals in the final six minutes of regulation to turn a one-goal deficit into a lead to hand the Merrimack College women's lacrosse team a stingy 10-9 setback in the Warriors' Northeast-10 Conference opener on Saturday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.
Score: Southern Connecticut 10, Merrimack 9
Records: Merrimack (2-3, 0-1 NE10) | Southern Conn. (3-1, 1-1 NE10)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.
- Both teams went goal-for-goal over the course of the first half, as Southern Connecticut opened things up less than a minute into the game before Merrimack answered with back-to-back tallies.
- The Warriors would take as large as a two-goal lead and had a 5-3 edge with under 10 minutes left in the half, but the Owls recorded the last two goals of the stanza, including the equalizer that came with four seconds on the clock, to make it a 5-5 contest at halftime.
- That script went largely unchanged over the first 15 minutes of the second half, with each school trading goals to keep it tied at 7-7 with 15 minutes to play.
- With the score tied at 8-8, Merrimack pushed in front thanks to the first career goal from senior Charlotte Fitzgerald (Sudbury, Mass.), as the Warriors went up by a 9-8 margin with just under seven minutes to go.
- But the Owls would draw even at the 5:49 mark on a strike from Emily Johnson, and then with 3:11 left Nichole Healey's team-high sixth of the game wound up being the game-winner.
- Despite being a player down in the final two minutes of regulation, Merrimack still forced two turnovers and nearly had a chance to tie it in the game's waning moments, but sophomore Amber Feminella (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) was denied by SCSU goalkeeper Alexandra Takacs to preserve the lead for the visitors.
Highlights and Notables
- Freshman Ally DaCosta (New Bedford, Mass.) enjoyed the best game of her young career, exploding for four points by means of a goal and three helpers.
- Senior Hunter McCarthy (Avon, Conn.) tallying yet another hat trick with an even three-goal performance that matched sophomore Bridget Schofield (Littleton, Mass.) for the team's scoring lead.
- Freshman Olivia Colletti (Massapequa, N.Y.) also set a new single-game scoring high with two points (1g, 1a), while Feminella also had an assist to round out the offensive showing.
- Defensively, rookie Danielle Schweitzer (West Islip, N.Y.) was a force, setting a new career-high with four caused turnovers. Schofield and senior Clare Blomberg (Wading River, N.Y.) also had multiple caused turnovers, as well.
- SCSU has now won four straight in the series, with three of those four games being decided by one goal – including the last three.
Team Leaders (MC // SCSU)
- Points: DaCosta (4) // Nicole Healey (6)
- Goals: McCarthy/Schofield (3) // Healey (6)
- Assists: DaCosta (3) // Carolynn Keal/Samantha Cozzolino (2)
- Draw Controls: Schofield/Danielle Galli (2) // Healey (6)
- Ground Balls: Blomberg/Schweitzer (5) // Taylor Portelinha/Emily Johnson (3)
- Caused Turnovers: Schweitzer (4) // Three players (1)
- Saves: Alexa Petzold (5) // Takacs (6)
Team Comparisons (MC // SCSU)
- Shots (Total/SOG): 22/15 // 22/15
- Draw Controls: 7 // 14
- Ground Balls: 17 // 12
- Clears: 18-25 // 15-17
- Turnovers: 19// 20
Merrimack will remain home to face Saint Michael's College next Tuesday (March 21) at 7 p.m.