NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack women's soccer team led by a goal with 17 minutes to play, but AIC rallied to tie the match on a corner kick before eventually netting the game winner a minute into double overtime, handing the Warriors a 2-1 setback on Saturday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.
Losing for only the third time in Northeast-10 Conference play this season, the Warriors fall to 8-4 overall with a 5-3 mark in league play. The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, rise into second place while improving to 7-2-2 and 6-1-2 within the conference.
Both sides went scoreless in the first half before freshman Jenna Savi (Dedham, Mass.) netted her second goal of the season to hand the home side a one-goal advantage in the 66th minute.
But the visiting Yellow Jackets would even the contest eight minutes later on a corner kick. Both teams had opportunities to put the match away in the waning minutes of the second half but the game remained even at 1-1, forcing sudden-death overtime.
After both sides combined for five shot attempts in the first 10-minute overtime session, Mariah Shade ended the game 47 seconds into the second overtime period, putting home a rebounded shot on the right of the net after her initial shot was saved to clinch the win for the road team.
"That was a tough loss for us to take in a very big game for us," head coach Gabe Mejail said afterward. "Unfortunately they had a few more chances than we did and we couldn't capitalize on the ones that we did have, so we'll have to work to catch up in the league standings from here on out."
Merrimack goalkeeper Nicole Curtis (Billerica, Mass.) finished with five saves, while her counterpart Samantha Tabak recorded an identical five stops.
Savi opened the scoring at 65:51 after collecting a loose ball following a throw-in on the right side of the box and finishing on the right side of the net.
But AIC answered eight minutes later. With the weather quickly deteriorating, the Yellow Jackets were awarded a corner kick with less than 20 minutes to play. Caroline Boyce served the ball into the box before Roxy Lee-Stewart touched it into the net to tie the match at 1-1 in the 74th minute.
Despite being outshot by a 10-4 margin in the second stanza and 23-10 margin through regulation, the Warriors had chances to win it as regulation came to a close, but both teams remained tied at a goal apiece, prompting overtime.
AIC outshot Merrimack, 3-2, in the first overtime, as each keeper recorded a save each before the stanza ended. Finally, in the first minute of the second overtime session, Shade carried the ball down the right side and sent an aggressive first shot on net. Curtis came up with the first save but the rebound bounced right back to Shade, who buried it into an open net on the right side to finish up the match.
In total, the Yellow Jackets owned a 27-12 advantage in shot attempts while both teams were awarded three corner kicks apiece.
Next up, the Warriors begin a three-game road trip on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Stonehill. First whistle is set for 3:30 p.m.