NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Behind two second half goals, the #14 Merrimack women's soccer team prevailed 2-0 over Pace in the quarterfinals of the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament at Martone-Mejail Field Tuesday evening. The second-seeded Warriors improve to 15-2-1 on the season with their fifth-consecutive shutout. The seventh-seeded Setters fell to 8-9-1 on the year with the loss.
Merrimack advances to host Southern NH, the sixth-seed in the tournament, in the semifinals November 4 at 4 pm.
The two teams were deadlocked in a scoreless draw at halftime. Merrimack owned a 9-3 advantage in shots through the first frame and a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.
Jenna Zechner (Billerica, MA) potted her team-leading eighth goal of the season in the 52nd minute to put the hosts on the board. Jamie Alnwick (Groton, MA) played a one-time through ball to Zechner, springing her in on goal all alone. Zechner beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball and slid to send it bouncing into the back of the net to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
In the 80th minute, Sarah Wooley (Duxbury, MA) tallied her first career goal to double Merrimack's margin. Alnwick served a corner kick into the box that floated to the back post to Wooley who was unmarked. The junior back headed the ball into the top left corner to increase the Warriors' lead to 2-0.
Marissa DePaolo (Milford, MA) and Melissa Garabedian (Salem, MA) both had quality scoring chances in the second half for the home team but the Setters' goalkeeper came up with critical saves on both shots.
Merrimack concluded the match with a 21-9 leverage in shots and 9-2 gap in corner kicks.
Kiley Horne (Scituate, MA) stopped two shots to earn her ninth clean sheet of the fall and 15th victory between the pipes for the Warriors. Courtany Hagen made seven saves in the contest for Pace.
"This was an all-around team win and we played well for 90 minutes," said head coach Gabe Mejail. "I was pleased with our effort tonight and it was good to get so many players into the game."