NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #11 Merrimack women's lacrosse team was defeated in a double overtime thriller on Tuesday night by the Bentley Falcons 12-11.
The Warriors were led in scoring on senior night by standout senior Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass.) who recorded three goals and two assists in the defeat.
"We played a hard fought game tonight where we really took our possession minutes seriously," said head coach Corinne Baker. "We played as a team but we just needed a few more looks on the cage. But when any game ends in sudden death, the last draw is crucial, and the ball just didn't bounce our way. We are already focused on Stonehill and are looking forward to bringing home that big win."
Strachan led all Warriors with five points and fellow senior Alicia Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass.) finished the game with two goals including the game tying goal to send the game into overtime. Liz Greeley (Norwood, Mass.) and Jenn Pino (North Andover, Mass.) both scored twice for the Warriors in the defeat.
The Falcons were able to find the back of the net in the third overtime period after the two teams played to a 1-1 tie after the first six minutes of overtime.
Cori Geiger opened up the scoring for the Falcons just over two minutes into the game to give Bentley the 1-0 advantage. The Warriors responded quickly as Tinsley found the back of the net to bring the score to 1-1 with 26:15 showing on the clock.
The Falcons and Warriors traded 2-0 runs to bring the score to 3-3 with 11:00 minutes remaining in the opening half. Bentley would grab back the 4-3 lead as Jackie Brown beat starting goalie Sam Kiesel (Andover, Mass.). The Warriors however closed out the half on a 3-0 run to take the 6-4 lead into halftime. Goals during the run were scored by Strachan, Pino and Greeley.
Merrimack held the 15-8 advantage in the shot department during the first half and went 8-10 on clearing attempts while scooping up 12 groundballs.
Bentley opened up the second half with a 4-0 run to give them the 8-6 lead with 12:47 remaining in the second half. Strachan and Olivia Huie (Norwell, Mass.) responded with goals to level the score at eight.
The Falcons would find the back of the net two consecutive possessions to claim the 10-8 lead with 2:05 showing on the clock. The Merrimack seniors however wouldn't let the game slip away as Strachan found the back of the net with just over a minute remaining to bring the Warriors within one.
With the pressure mounting in the final minute, Tinsley took a perfect pass from Strachan and buried the game tying goal with 15 seconds remaining in the second half. The Warriors held the ball for the final 15 seconds to send the game into overtime.
The Falcons would strike first in overtime with a free position goal from Megan Wiggins but the Warriors wouldn't go away just yet responded with a goal of their own as Greeley beat the Falcon goalie after a Strachan pass led her straight to the net.
Bentley however would put the Warriors away in the third overtime period as Chelsea Larivee scored with 1:58 showing on the clock to pick up the dramatic overtime victory.
Playing in their final home games at Martone-Mejail Field, seniors Sarah Salatto (Guilford, CT) and Jennifer Cronin (Norwell, Mass.) both played well defensively. Salatto caused a team-high three turnovers while also scooping up three groundballs while Cronin caused one turnover and scooped up five groundballs in the defeat. Kristin Elliott (Amherst, NH) scooped up a game-high seven groundballs and caused three turnovers for the Warriors.
In net, Kiesel recorded 10 saves while her counterpart for Bentley finished the game with nine saves.
For the game the Warriors outshot Bentley 30-28 and were 16-20 on their clearing opportunities. The Warriors caused Bentley into 22 turnovers while also scooping up 24 groundballs in the defeat.
The Warriors (4-6, 4-4 NE-10) will hit the road for a conference matchup with Stonehill on Thursday April 12 at 7:00 pm.