NCAA First Round: Women's Soccer Advances with 1-0 over Lowell

NCAA First Round: Women's Soccer Advances with 1-0 over Lowell

ALBANY, NY. – The Merrimack women’s soccer team got an early goal from freshman Ashley Alnwick (Groton, MA) and held on for its first NCAA Tournament victory since November 13, 2002 as they defeated UMass Lowell 1-0 Friday afternoon at the Albany Academy.

With the win, the Warriors, seeded fourth in the New England region, will take on the top seed Saint Rose in the 2nd round of the New England region Sunday at 1 p.m.

Making their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and sixth in the last seven years, the Warriors struck right away as Alnwick knocked in a corner kick from Heather Macedo (New Bedford, MA) in just the sixth minute. It was the freshman’s third of the season, all coming off corner kicks from Macedo.

“We came out a little flat, but we showed grit and determination to pull this one out,” said Warrior head coach Gabe Mejail. “We had strong play from our backs, and we were able to hold on.”

That was all the Warriors would need as they withstood a second-half surge from the Riverhawks and escaped with the 1-0 victory.

Shannon Rowan (Fair Haven, NJ) stopped four shots in the victory, while Gabrielle Gramprey (Brockton, MA) and Hillary McGarr (North Dighton, MA) posted two shots each for Merrimack.

It is the second time the Warriors defeated the Riverhawks this season. They defeated UML 3-1 earlier this season at Warrior Field.

The Warriors (13-4-4) lost twice to the Golden Knights (18-0-2) this season, including 2-0 in the Northeast-10 Semifinals. Saint Rose, ranked third nationally, defeated Bryant University 2-1 in the conference championship last Sunday.

In other New England region action, Franklin Pierce, seeded third, takes on the sixth-seed Holy Family at 4 p.m. Friday in Smithfield, RI.