EASTON, MA – The #12 Merrimack women's lacrosse team was defeated on Wednesday night at the W.B. Mason Stadium by the Stonehill Skyhawks by the score of 15-3.
The Warriors were knocked out of the Northeast-10 Conference playoffs despite a career-high 21 saves by goalie Sam Kiesel (Andover, Mass.).
"We couldn't find our rhythm offensively," said head coach Corinne Baker. "Sam Kiesel had a big day in the cage but it was not enough as we could not find the back of the net when we had our chances."
Tyler Szymanski (Framingham, Mass.) led the Warriors with two goals on the night and leading scorer Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass.) added a goal of her own. Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, MA) picked up the lone Merrimack assist on Szymanski's first goal.
Stonehill opened up the game with the first goal as Heather Sullivan found the back of the net for her 52nd goal on the season with 23:59 showing on the first half clock. The Skyhawks registered the next six goals to take the 7-0 lead before Merrimack answered with their first goal as Szymanski recorded her 16th goal of the season after a nice pass from Palombo.
The Skyhawks responded quickly with a goal as Kelsey Reilly got open in front of the net and buried her 39th goal on the year making the score 8-1 with 1:11 remaining in the opening half. Junior goalie Kiesel kept the game as close as possible as she made a season-high 12 saves in the opening half.
Stonehill took the 8-1 lead after 30 minutes of play. The Skyhawks held the 24-10 advantage in shots and the 19-16 advantage in ground balls in the opening half. The Warriors went 8-12 on clearing attempts but went 0-4 on free position opportunities.
Stonehill opened up the scoring in the second half with a free position goal before Szymanski found the back of the net for her second of the game at the 23:52 mark of the second half to make the score 9-2 in favor of the Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks would not let the Warriors get back in the game as they put together a 6-0 scoring run over the next 17 minutes to increase their lead to 13 at 15-2. Strachan ended the Skyhawk run with 6:56 remaining in the game to make the score 15-3 in favor of Stonehill. The tally for Strachan was her 40th goal of the season.
The two teams went back and forth for the final six minutes with no goals scored for either to, making the final score 15-3 in favor of the Skyhawks.
Playing in her final game as a Warrior, Sarah Salatto (Guilford, CT) led the team defensively, scooping up a team-high four ground balls and causing a team-high three turnovers. Fellow senior Mary Pasquantonio (Plainville, Mass.), finished the game with two ground balls, two caused turnovers and two draw controls for the Warriors.
For the night, the Warriors were outshot 43-19 and were held to six draw controls on 20 draws. The Warriors finished the game going 14-19 on clearing attempts but were only successful on one of seven free position attempts. The Skyhawks were successful on five of 12 for the night.
The Warriors close out their season with a 7-9 overall record and a 7-6 conference mark.