MANCHESTER, NH – The Merrimack women's lacrosse team lost their second straight contest to open the season on Wednesday night at Saint Anselm as they fell 17-16 in overtime. The Warriors led by three with late in the second half but they were unable to put the Hawks away for their first win.
Merrimack (0-2, 0-2 NE-10) will return to the field on Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m. as they will travel to take on conference foe Adelphi.
"This was a tough loss for us tonight," said head coach Corinne Desrosiers. "We played well in the second half to build our lead to three but we played tentative down the stretch and it cost us. In the overtime period, we didn't bury our chances and we turned the ball over which you cannot do against a good team like Saint Anselm."
The Warriors took their largest second half lead of three with just over 10 minutes to play, 16-13, as Tyler Szymanski (Framingham, Mass.) scored her second goal of the game, but the Hawks scored three straight goals including the game-tying goal with 30 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
In the overtime period, Merrimack was unable to get anything going as Marissa Daly scored the game-winning goal with 4:00 minutes to play.
The Warriors were led offensively by junior Olivia Huie (Norwell, Mass.) who scored a team-high five goals and one assist while freshman Aubrie Stouffer (Souderton, PA) finished off the best game of her young career with four goals on four shots. Senior captain Jenn Pino (North Andover, Mass.) finished off her night with three goals and a assist to go along with seven draw controls while Szymanski buried two goals and controlled a team-high eight draw controls.
The Hawks got off to a quick start in the opening half as they took the early 4-0 lead just over three minutes in behind three goals from leading scorer, Daly.
Merrimack broke through with their opening score of the game as Szymanski found the back of the net for the third time of the young season with 22:46 to play in the half after a nice feed from Pino. Saint Anselm answered quickly with two goals of their own to make the score 6-1 in favor of the home squad.
The Warriors however, scored five straight goals over the next two minutes to tie the score at 6-6 with 11:29 to play in the first half. Huie scored twice, Stouffer recorded her first career tally and Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass.) and Pino scored thirty seconds apart to tie the game.
The Hawks took the 8-7 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the first half before Merrimack stormed back with three straight goals to take their first lead of the game into the locker room. Huie, Stouffer and Mia Rapolla (Gorham, ME) each scored goals for the Warriors. The Rapolla goal marked her first goal as a Warrior.
The Hawks opened up the second half with a quick 3-0 run to take the lead back at 11-10 with 24:55 to play in the game. The Warriors didn't waste much time taking the lead back as Pino and Huie scored back-to-back goals to give Merrimack the 12-11 lead.
With the score tied 13-13, Merrimack scored three straight goals as Stouffer, Huie and Szymanski gave the Warriors their biggest lead of the game. The Warriors however, could not hold onto the lead down the stretch, falling 17-16 in overtime.
For the game, Merrimack was outshot 33-24 for the game while they controlled 20 draws compared to 16 by the Hawks. The Hawks were a perfect 15-for-15 on their clearing attempts while the Warriors finished 9-for-11. Saint Anselm scored six free position goals while Merrimack was able to put five past the Hawks goaltender.
Inna Hedden (Woodbine, MD) played the opening 30 minutes for the Warriors, making seven saves and allowing eight goals while Sam Kiesel (Lakeville, Mass.) played the second half and overtime and allowed nine goals while making five saves. Senior captain Casey MacNeil (Waltham, Mass.) led all Warriors with three ground balls in the loss.