Junior All-American Erika Kelly scored her fifth gamewinning goal of the season 1:15 into overtime. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Thornton and Kelly score 2:03 apart to pull out key win
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (November 12, 2014) – Stonehill College, ranked fifth in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll and first in the NCAA Division II North Regional rankings, scored two goals two minutes apart to at first force overtime and then claim a 2-1 overtime triumph at Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference field hockey action at Martone-Mejail Field this evening.
Juniors Elizabeth Thornton (Needham, Massachusetts/Needham) and Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) scored goals separated by just 2:03 of clock time to erase a late one goal deficit and stay on pace to earn a first round bye for next week's Northeast-10 Conference Tournament. Senior Elizabeth Genovese (Street, Maryland/North Harford) made eight saves to give the Skyhawks a chance to comeback.
Stonehill posted a 27-15 advantage for shots on the night, holding an 11-9 edge in penalty corners. Junior Madison Davis (San Jose, California/Branham) held Stonehill in check for the majority of the contest with 14 saves.
The game was scoreless for over an hour before the teams combined to score all three goals within a ten minute span late in the contest. Freshman Taylor Simpson (York, Maine/York) broke the deadlock with her 15th goal of the season, when she tapped in a cross from the right side by junior Christine Zubkus (Dover, New Hampshire/Dover) with 8:21 remaining in regulation.
11 of Stonehill's shots came in the second half, but it was unable to solve Davis until Thornton collected a rebound off Davis' pads and scored her sixth goal of the year through traffic into the right side of the cage with just 48-seconds on the clock. The Skyhawks clinched the victory 1:15 into overtime, when Kelly pounced on a Merrimack turnover in its own end and moved the ball inside the scoring arc before firing a shot into the left side of the goal for her 23rd marker of the season.
Stonehill (14-3, 8-2 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it closes out the regular season with a key NE-10 matchup at Assumption College at noon. Merrimack (9-8, 5-6 NE-10) saw its postseason hopes dashed with tonight's loss in its final game of the season.