NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Jen Otis (Penacook, NH) scored 4:04 into overtime to lift the #4 Merrimack field hockey team to a 1-0 victory over Adelphi Sunday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field. The Warriors finish the regular season with a 16-1 overall record and a 10-0 mark in the Northeast-10 Conference. Merrimack claimed its first-ever Northeast-10 regular season crown outright as the league's only unbeaten team. Adelphi fell to 6-12 on the season and 3-7 in the conference with the loss.
Prior to the start of the contest, Merrimack honored its seniors and their families for their hard work and dedication over the past four years. The Class of 2012 has led the Warriors to 41 victories and the program's first-ever Northeast-10 Conference regular season title this fall.
The two teams were locked in a defensive battle at the midway point of the game. Merrimack owned a 5-2 lead in shots and penalty corners earned in the opening 35 minutes.
Victoria DeLacey (Charlton, MA) registered the Warriors' only two shots on goal in the first half, both of which came off of penalty corners.
Merrimack dialed up the offensive pressure in the second stanza as it pushed to get on the board. The Warriors outshot the Panthers 17-8 in the half to finish with a 22-10 advantage at the end of regulation.
The hosts had numerous shots cleared off of the line by Adelphi defenders. April Daugherty (Wakefield, RI) appeared to have slipped a shot past the Panthers' goalkeeper that was destined for the cage. Before Daugherty's attempt could cross the goal line, a defender dove to keep the ball out of the net.
With the clock reading 0:00 in the second half, Merrimack cancelled out two Adelphi penalty corners. Kerri Bergquist (Mashpee, MA) made a sprawling save and Otis intercepted a pass to clear the ball.
In the extra session, the Warriors capitalized on their second shot as Otis knocked in a loose ball in front of the goal. Katie Zubkus (Dover, NH) crossed the ball from the right side past the goalkeeper, setting up Otis on the left post with an empty net.
Bergquist made five saves between the pipes to record her 16th-consecutive victory. Lucia Vigliotti stopped 11 shots in goal for the Panthers.
"We came out here and knew our fate was in our hands. This was a good way to finish the regular season, earning the Northeast-10 regular season title outright," said head coach Anne Rounce. "We needed to be a little hungrier around the cage today. We will definitely work hard all week to get ready for the Northeast-10 playoffs."
Merrimack will serve as the host for the Northeast-10 Conference tournament October 28th and 30th. The semifinals will be held at Martone-Mejail Field October 28th at 4 pm and 7 pm. The Warriors will play in the second semifinal contest and will take on the winner of the Bentley and American International quarterfinal game.