#6 Merrimack Edges #9 Field Hockey, 4-3

Senior All-American Erika Kelly scored a pair of goals, including the NE-10 record 92nd of her career tonight. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Kelly nets pair, including NE-10 record 92nd of her career in setback 

EASTON, Mass. (October 27, 2015) – Stonehill College senior All-American Erika Kelly (Watertown, Massachusetts/Watertown) netted a pair of goals, including the Northeast-10 Conference record 92nd of her career, but the Skyhawks, ranked ninth in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, were edged by 6th-ranked Merrimack College in a key NE-10 field hockey matchup on Timothy J. Coughlin '80 Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Kelly's two markers extend her streak of multi-goal games to four and breaks the NE-10 career record of 91 goals set by Sammy Macy (2007-10) of UMass Lowell. Kelly's 92 career goals now ranks second all-time in Division II history behind Bloomsburg University's Jamie Vanartsdalen (2005-08) career mark of 120 goals. Kelly, whose 21 goals this season rank only behind her own single-season totals as a sophomore (NE-10 record 38) and junior on the program's single-season list (25), ranks fifth in Division II history with her program record 204 career points (76 games) – third in NE-10 history, 15 points shy of Macy's NE-10 record (219). Kelly has now notched a point in all 16 games this season and 17 straight dating back last fall.

Merrimack got goals from four different players to claim the key win which creates a three-way logjam atop the NE-10 standings with Assumption College and Adelphi University after Adelphi notched a 4-2 triumph over Assumption in today's other NE-10 clash amongst the top four teams in the Conference. Senior Sydney Bowker (Schenectady, New York/Niskayuna) and sophomore Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Massachusetts/Narragansett Regional) potted second half goals to lift Merrimack to the win. Junior Nicole Bradley (Essex, Massachusetts/Manchester Essex) and sophomore Taylor Simpson (York, Maine/York) chipped in first half goals.

Junior Sarah Morse contributed a goal and assist tonight. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Senior goalkeeper Madison Davis (San Jose, California/Branham) made five of her nine saves in the second half to preserve the win for Merrimack. The Warriors posted a 23-18 advantage for shots and held an 8-6 edge in penalty corners for the contest.

Junior Sarah Morse (Westminster, Massachusetts/Oakmont Regional) added a goal and assist to Kelly's two goal night for Stonehill. Freshman Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) registered seven saves in the Skyhawks cage. Stonehill now sits in a fourth place tie in the NE-10 standings with 10th-ranked Saint Anselm College, but hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hawks, just a game behind the three-way tie for first place.

Hammond put Merrimack in front for good with a turn and shot from the center of the scoring area for her 11th goal of the season off a pass from the left side by freshman Mary McNeil (Canton, Massachusetts/Canton) 6:09 into the second half. Bowker extended the lead to two goals when she converted the Warriors second penalty stroke of the game for her second goal of the year at 53:17.

Kelly's record-breaking 92nd career goal drew Stonehill back into the game less than four minutes later, but the Skyhawks wouldn't get any closer. Stonehill maintained pressure late, with Davis stopping a Kelly shot with less than nine minutes to play, but the Skyhawks were unable to put a shot on goal after that.

Simpson opened the scoring with her tenth goal of the year 18:14 into the game for Merrimack. Kelly's opening goal off a pass from freshman Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) six and a half minutes later leveled the contest, but the Warriors regained the lead on Bradley's penalty stroke 76-seconds later. Morse sent the game into halftime knotted at two goals each with her fourth goal of the season when she pushed the ball across the line at the left post after a scramble in front of goal off her own penalty corner with just two minutes left in the half..

Stonehill (10-6, 8-3 NE-10 is back in action at W.B. Mason Stadium on Friday night when it hosts Pace University on Senior Night for its regular season finale at 7 p.m. Merrimack (13-3, 9-2 NE-10) hosts 10th-ranked Saint Anselm College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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