NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack women's lacrosse team picked up their first victory of the season on Saturday afternoon as they defeated #7 Dowling at Martone-Mejail Field by the score of 10-9 in double overtime. Mia Rapolla (Gorham, ME) scored the game-winning goal for the Warriors in the first overtime period.
Merrimack (1-6, 0-4 NE-10) will return home on Wednesday, April 3 as they will host Saint Michael's in a conference game at 7 p.m.
After the Golden Lions tied the game, 9-9, with less than a minute to go in regulation, the two teams went to overtime where Rapolla was the hero for the Warriors. With under a minute to play in the first overtime period, Rapolla took the ball and went hard to the front of the net and beat Tina Fey with a great shot.
Neither team was able to score in the second overtime, giving the Warriors the upset victory over the #7 team in the country.
"Overall this was a great win for our young team who has been struggling to find their confidence the past few games," said head coach Corinne Desrosiers. "We clicked on both sides of the field in the first half but got a little too cautious in the second half. I am happy that our mental toughness won out with a big goal and lockdown defense in overtime. We will look to keep this momentum heading into Wednesday."
The Warriors had five players finish with at least two points for the game. Rapolla led the Warriors with three goals and an assist to go along with two ground balls while Olivia Huie (Norwell, Mass.) finished the game with three goals and three ground balls. Tyler Szymanski (Framingham, Mass.) played well as she finished with a goal and a assist and a team-high five ground balls while Jenn Pino (North Andover, Mass.) and Aubrie Stouffer (Souderton, PA) each recorded one goal and one assist.
Dowling opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game before Huie found the back of the net on her 15th goal of the season to tie the score, 1-1. Over the next four minutes, the Golden Lions went on a 3-0 scoring run to take the 4-1 lead with 14:46 remaining in the opening half.
The turning point of the game came in the final 14 minutes of the first half as the Warriors finished the half on a 7-0 scoring run to take the 8-4 halftime lead. Rapolla and Huie had two goals each during the run while Pino, Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass.) and Stouffer each scored one goal.
The second half opened up with Szymanski burying her 16th goal of the season after a nice pass from Rapolla, the eighth straight goal for the Warriors, just over nine minutes in.
The Warriors were held scoreless for the rest of regulation as the Golden Lions finished the half on a 5-0 scoring run to push the game into overtime. Moran scored the game tying goal for Dowling with just 49 seconds to play in the game.
The two teams went back and forth in the overtime period before Rapolla scored the game-winning goal with just 47 seconds to play. The Warriors defense held tough down the stretch to secure the win.
For the game, Merrimack held the 12-10 advantage in draw controls including a 9-3 advantage in the first half while the Warriors scooped up 23 ground balls compared to the Golden Lions 18. The Warriors were successful on 13-of-18 clearing attempts while Dowling finished the game going 11-for-20.
Inna Hedden (Woodbine, MD) made 12 big saves in her first victory of the season while Pino finished with a team-best four draw controls. Defensively, Kristin Elliott (Amherst, NH) forced a team-high two turnovers while Nicole Moran (Pembroke, Mass.) came off the bench and scooped up two ground balls.