RINDGE, N.H – Seven different players found the back of the cage, propelling the No. 7 Merrimack field hockey team to a convincing 8-1 road victory over Northeast-10 Conference foe Franklin Pierce on Thursday night at Sodexo Field in Rindge, N.H.
By virtue of the victory, the Warriors improve to 10-2 on the year with a 4-1 mark in league play, while the Ravens fall to 3-10 overall and 1-5 within the conference.
Merrimack coasted to an early 3-0 lead in the first half before Franklin Pierce cut it to a two-goal deficit heading into the break, but the visitors posted five uncontested goals in the second half to wrap up the final margin of victory.
"We showed a lot of strength in our passing patterns and playing together as a team tonight," head coach Anne Rounce said afterward.
Junior Candace Waldie (North Andover, Mass.) started the scoring 15:33 into the first half after scoring on a breakaway on the right side of the circle to give the Warriors the initial lead.
Five minutes later, freshman Katrina Squeri (Chelmsford, Mass.) doubled the lead on a backhand shot that beat FPU goalkeeper Sarah Cote (seven saves) to make it 2-0 with 15 minutes to go in the first half.
Less than two minutes later, junior Jessica Otis (Pittsford, N.Y.) garnered Merrimack's third straight unassisted goal of the first half to triple the advantage at 3-0 before Chanelle Letarte cut the deficit to 3-1 at 26:12, concluding the scoring between both teams in the first half.
Seven minutes into the second stanza, senior forward April Daugherty (Wakefield, R.I.) made it a 4-1 game after burying a rebounded shot at 43:55 to up the edge to 4-1.
Ten minutes later, senior midfielder Jen Otis (Penacook, N.H.) pushed the lead to four goals on another unassisted tally, this time scoring on a shot from the top of the circle at 54:47 to push Merrimack's lead to 5-1 with 15 minutes to play.
It did not take long for the Warriors to add another insurance strike, as senior Jamie Spano (Reading, Mass.) buried a one-time pass from Waldie from the center of the circle into the right side of the net at 55:48 to up the lead to 6-1.
Two minutes later, Squeri netted her career-high second goal of the game, as the rookie wrapped up her first career multi-goal game on another unassisted marker, scoring on the left-wing side to increase the lead to 7-1.
Finally, rookie Taylor Ledwith (Springfield, Mass.) wrapped up the scoring by diving and forcing in the final goal of the game on the right side of the goalmouth at 67:33, concluding the scoring with the Warriors ahead by seven goals in the closing minutes of regulation.
"It was great to get the victory tonight," Rounce said. "Now, we'll look to carry tonight's teamwork and momentum into Monday's game against a talented Stonehill team."
In total, the Warriors outshot the Ravens by a 26-4 margin, including a 17-1 edge in the first half. Senior goalkeeper Kerri Bergquist (Mashpee, Mass.) finished with three saves, while the visitors owned a 4-1 edge in penalty corners against Franklin Pierce.
Next up, Merrimack returns home to face Stonehill on Monday, Oct. 8. First whistle from Martone-Mejail Field is set for 1 p.m.
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