October 9, 2012

Stonehill Slips by Women's Soccer, 2-1

EASTON, Mass. – Christine Moodie scored a pair of goals midway through the game, and that was all Stonehill College would need, handing the Merrimack women's soccer team a 2-1 setback on the road in Northeast-10 Conference action on Tuesday afternoon in Easton, Mass.

Losers of back-to-back games for the first time this season, the Warriors sink to 8-5 overall and 6-4 within the NE-10. Stonehill, meanwhile, improves to 5-3-3 and 4-3-3 in league play.

Merrimack could only muster one goal in the second half off the foot of senior Jamie Alnwick (Groton, Mass.), but the early two-goal deficit proved to be too much to overcome as Moodie's heroics proved to be the difference on the day.

Stonehill keeper Amy Wheaton came up big with six saves over the course of the game, while junior Nicole Curtis (Billerica, Mass.) took the loss for the Warriors after giving up two goals and recording two stops.

"A very disappointing loss," head coach Gabe Mejail said afterward. "These are games that we need to have. We need to come up with big road wins and we need to get more consistent on offense, but overall very disappointing for us."

Despite holding a decisive advantage in shot attempts in the first half, the Warriors could not crack Wheaton, who turned aside all of Merrimack's 10 shot attempts in the first half.

The home side got on the board in the 32nd minute, as Moodie took a pass from Casey Mathews along the right flank and lofted a shot over Curtis to put Stonehill ahead, 1-0, with less than 15 minutes to play in the first stanza.

That margin would hold through the remainder of the half, as the Warriors entered the break down a goal despite a seven-shot advantage (10-3) through the first 45 minutes.

Stonehill wasted little time adding to its lead just four minutes into the second half, as Moodie struck once again, this time heading home a free kick service by Allison Nagle for her second marker of the game, putting the Skyhawks ahead, 2-0.

The Warriors finally found an answer just four minutes later, as Alnwick one-timed a cross from Jenn Pino (North Andover, Mass.) into the back of the net to slice the deficit in half at 2-1 in the 54th minute.

After the Merrimack goal, both teams continued to exchange scoring chances over the ensuing 10 minutes. Stonehill nearly got one back in the 67th minute as Nagle ripped a post, but it remained a one-goal deficit heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Neither side would then allow a shot over a 10-minute span before sophomore Katie Bresciani (Hopedale, Mass.) narrowly missed a game-tying header that sailed just wide of the net with 10 minutes to play. Two minutes later, Alnwick nearly tied the match on another header, but that chance was also off the mark.

Aside from one last chance on a saved shot by Alnwick – who led all players with five shot attempts during the game – the Stonehill defense kept Merrimack in check over the final 10 minutes to hand the Warriors the loss on the road.

In total, Merrimack owned a 16-11 advantage in shot attempts but came up with only the one goal and also held  5-2 edge in corner kicks. Both sides combined for 21 fouls.

Next up, the Warriors continue a season-high three-game road trip with a date against defending national champion and first-place Saint Rose on Saturday, Oct. 13. First whistle is set for 2 p.m.

--

For continuing coverage of Merrimack athletics, check back online at www.merrimackathletics.com, and follow the Warriors on Twitter @MC_Athletics.