Merrimack Shoots Past #5 Field Hockey, 4-1

Smith tallied her 20th goal of the season, which is tops in Division II. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

Simpson nets two goals to lead Warriors to victory

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (October 25, 2016) – Merrimack College posted its second straight win over a nationally-ranked team with a 4-1 triumph over Stonehill College, ranked No. 5 in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, in Northeast-10 Conference field hockey action at Martone-Mejail Field this evening.

Junior Taylor Simpson (York, Maine/York) scored a pair of goals and sophomore Mary McNeil (Canton, Massachusetts/Canton) registered a goal and assist to lead Merrimack to the win. Senior Nicole Bradley (Essex, Massachusetts/Manchester Essex) chipped in with a goal, while freshman Katharina Ohmen (Bremen, Germany) preserved the win with six saves.

Merrimack held a 24-16 advantage in shots for the contest, including 12-4 in the first half to stake out a two goal lead at the half. The Warriors also posted a 10-5 edge in penalty corners, while sophomore Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) finished with 12 saves in the Stonehill cage.

Sophomore Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) netted her NCAA Division II-leading 20th goal of the season for Stonehill. Smith becomes just the third player in program history to score 20-plus goals in a season, joining former All-Americans Claire Hourihan '10 and Erika Kelly '16 who both accomplished the feat. Hourihan finished with 20 goals exactly in 2008 and 2009, while Kelly posted three 20-plus seasons during her record breaking career.

Freedman posted 12 saves in the Skyhawks goal. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)

McNeil opened the scoring with her sixth marker of the season 16:14 into the game. The Warriors doubled their lead when Simpson converted a penalty stroke six minutes later at 22:39. Merrimack broke game open with two more goals in the second half. Simpson added her eighth goal of the year, assisted by McNeil off a high rebound, 19:07 into the frame. Bradley provided some insurance with her fourth goal of the season, assisted by junior Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Massachusetts/Narragansett Regional), less than four minutes after that at 58:03.

Stonehill grabbed a late goal to avoid the shutout when Smith scored her 20th goal of his career at, assisted by junior Alexandria Sylvia (Brockton, Massachusetts/Brockton), at 68:19.

Stonehill (12-4, 8-3 NE-10) closes out the regular season on Saturday at Pace University at 2 p.m. Merrimack (7-7, 7-4 NE-10) hosts No. 3 Saint Anselm College on Saturday at 1 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market. Stonehill will serve as host of the 2016 NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship at W.B. Mason Stadium, November 18-20.