NE-10 FIRST ROUND: #7 Merrimack Posts Back and Forth Win Over #5 Stonehill, 4-3 (OT)

Senior All-American Devin Ingersoll scored a pair of second half goals as the Skyhawks scored three-straight to erase a 2-0 halftime deficit. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Zubkus nets winner 8:04 into overtime to send Warriors to semifinals  

EASTON, Mass. (November 16, 2013) – Third-seeded Merrimack College, ranked 7th in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, overcame a big second half rally to claim a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime triumph against second-seeded and 5th-ranked Stonehill College in first round action of the 2013 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium this afternoon.

Merrimack (14-5, 9-1 NE-10) advances to the National Semifinals where it will face North Region top-seed and No. 3-ranked LIU Post (20-0, 10-0 NE-10) at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex on Friday at 12:30 p.m. The Warriors advance to the NCAA semis for the third-straight year, while LIU Post earned a first round bye. Stonehill sees its season come to a close with an 18-4 record overall, 8-2 in the NE-10, earning its fifth NCAA Tournament bid after reaching the NE-10 Championship game for the fifth time in program history as well.

Sophomore Christine Zubkus (Dover, N.H./Dover) sent Merrimack through to the national semifinals with her fifth goal of the year 8:04 into overtime off a feed from senior Jessica Otis (Pittsford, N.Y./East Rochester) on a penalty corner attempt. The goal came on the Warriors 13th shot of the game as they finished with a narrow 13-12 advantage in that statistic for the game, while penalty corners were even at 12-12.

Sophomore Erika Kelly added her 38th goal of the year today. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Senior Candice Waldie (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) led Merrimack with a pair of assists on the afternoon as four different Warriors collecting goals in the game. Waldie also set up the tying goal with 7:17 left in regulation by freshman Nicole Bradley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex) that answered three-straight Stonehill goals to reverse momentum early in the second half after the Warriors had taken a two goal lead into halftime.

Sophomore Madison Davis (San Jose, Calif./Branham) posted five saves in goal for Merrimack, while junior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Md./North Harford) registered four stops in the Stonehill cage.

Senior All-American Devin Ingersoll (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) sparked Stonehill's second half rally with a pair of goals. Sophomore Erika Kelly (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) contributed her Division II high and NE-10 record 38th goal of the year, finishing with a program-record 78 points, which is tied for tops in NE-10 history with LIU Post's Carlee Dragon.

Merrimack staked out a two goal lead in the first half with freshman Maura Doyle (Merrimac, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) opening the scoring at the near post off a feed from Waldie on the far side for her ninth goal of the year 9:13 into the contest. Sophomore Katrina Squeri (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) doubled the Merrimack lead at 23:06 when she knocked in her ninth of the season during a scramble in front of the cage.

After being outshot 8-3 in the first half, Stonehill came out firing in the second with three goals in the opening 8:21 to reverse momentum. Ingersoll got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard 2:39 into the second half with her first goal of the day. Kelly equalized for Stonehill less than five minutes later when she converted a penalty stroke for her 38th goal of the season at 42:00 even. The goal came on her second attempt after her first try rang off the post, but Davis was ruled to have moved illegally on the line, giving Kelly a second attempt at the stroke.

Ingersoll put Stonehill in front just over three minutes later with her fifth goal of the season when she fired in her own rebound at 43:21. Merrimack was able to force overtime with Bradley's fifth of the year in the final ten minutes of regulation leading up to the winner by Zubkus. Stonehill held a 9-2 advantage for shots in the second half, but Zubkus notched the lone shot in overtime for the win.

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