DANIELLE RILEY LIFTS WARRIORS TOTHRILLING TRIPLE OVERTIME VICTORY ON SUNDAY AGAINST THE OILERS IN SEASON OPENER
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass – Sophomore Danielle Riley (West Point, N.Y.) scored the game-winning goal and the Merrimack College women's lacrosse team defeated the University of Findlay at Martone-Mejail Field by the score of 16-15 in triple overtime. With the win, head coach Michael Daly earns his first career win as a Merrimack College head coach.
Score: Merrimack 16, Findlay 15
Records: Merrimack (1-0, 0-0 NE-10) | Findlay (0-2, 0-0 GLIAC)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
After Findlay tied the game, 13-13, with less than five minutes to go in regulation, the two teams went to overtime where sophomore Aubrie Stouffer (Souderton, Pa.) scored the first goal for the Warriors with 1:41 left in the first overtime. However, after back-to-back goals from Sarah Lankton, Findlay was up 15-14 with a minute left in the first overtime.
With the clock winding down, freshman Megan Fero (East Manlius, N.Y.) would find Riley, who would tie the game at 15-all sending the game into its second overtime period. Riley took the ball and went hard to the net and beat goalkeeper Katie Poorman for the game-winning goal with 2:13 left to play in the sudden death victory.
The Warriors had six players finish with at least two goals for the game. Stouffer led the Warriors with three goals and six assists to go along with two ground balls while Riley finished the game with three goals and a ground ball. Sophomore Kayla Breton (Windham, N.H.) played well as she finished with three of Merrimack's 15 goals. Freshman Jordan Sullivan (Malden, Mass.), junior Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass.) and junior Christine Keenan (Byfield, Mass.) each recorded two goals apiece.
The Oilers opened the half with an early 3-0 lead before Breton found the back of the net for her first goal of the season to bring the score to 3-1. Over the next couple of minutes, the Oilers went on a 2-0 scoring run to take a 5-1 lead with 21:59 remaining in the opening half.
The turning point of the game came in the final 20 minutes of the first half as the Warriors scored five unanswered goals to take its first lead of the game, 6-5. However, Findlay came right back to take a 7-6 lead before J. Sullivan tied it up, 7-7, with 4:23 remaining in the half. This would prove to be the last tally of the first half and the Warriors would take a 7-7 tie into the locker room.
The second half opened up similar to the first half, with Findlay scoring three unanswered goals after six minutes of play to take a 10-7 lead. After back-to-back goals from Breton and Fero, Merrimack would come to within one (10-9) with 20:51 left to play. The two teams would battle back-and-forth until a Keenan goal tied the Oilers at 11-11.
Shortly after, Merrimack would take its first lead of the half, 13-12, after an unassisted goal from Riley. With only four minutes remaining to play in regulation, Sarah Lankton tied the game up, 13-13, sending the season opener into overtime.
In goal, Merrimack's Inna Hedden (Woodbine, Md.) posted 12 saves, eight saves in the first half, and picked up the victory for the Warriors. Katie Poorman finished the afternoon with only eight saves and tallied her second loss of the season.
Inside the Numbers
- Both Merrimack and Findlay tallied 20 fouls each, while Merrimack posted 20 turnovers.
- Findlay held a slim 37-35 advantage in shot attempts and 20-15 advantage in draw controls.
- The Warriors also held a 23-21 edge in ground balls, with Keenan leading the way with five for the home side.
- Merrimack was successful on 9-of-12 clears, while Findlay went 8-of-10.
Due to the inclement weather, Tuesday's Northeast-10 Conference game against Assumption has been rescheduled to Thursday, March 13 at 4 p.m. Merrimack returns to action with a non-conference tilt against Grand Valley State this Thursday (March 6). Game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Martone-Mejail Field.