#9 Merrimack Takes Shootout Over #10 Field Hockey, 5-4

Smith potted her second hat trick within a week to lead the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY Jim Stankiewicz)

Smith's second hat trick in a week not enough as Skyhawks fall

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (September 13, 2017) – Merrimack College, ranked No. 9 in this week's Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II poll, posted a 5-4 shootout victory over No. 10 Stonehill College in a non-conference field hockey matchup at Martone-Mejail Field tonight.

Senior Rylie Hammond (Phillipston, Massachusetts/Narragansett Regional) totaled five points, with two goals and an assist, to lead Merrimack, while junior Mary McNeil (Canton, Massachusetts/Canton) dished out two assists in the win. Senior Taylor Simpson (York, Maine/York), sophomore Lindsey Nolte (Canton, Massachusetts/Canton) and freshman Colleen Ellis (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford) each chipped in with a goal for the Warriors.

Sophomore Katharina Ohmen (Bremen, Germany) made 13 saves in the Merrimack goal, as the Warriors held a 29-24 advantage in shots and an 8-6 edge on penalty corners. Junior Delaney Yule (Southbury, Connecticut/Pomperaug) also contributed three defensive saves in support of Ohmen. Junior Sara Freedman (Hopkinton, Massachusetts/Hopkinton) finished with 13 stops in the Stonehill cage, just one shy of her career-best. Both goalkeepers made saves on penalty strokes, including Ohmen with 5:37 remaining.

Freedman finished one shy of her career-high with 13 saves. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Junior All-American Kacie Smith (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood) notched her second hat trick of the season, both coming within the last week, to lead the way for Stonehill. The six points give her 106 for her career to move into fourth place on the program's career scoring list past Kathryn Nelson, '12 (103 points), after becoming the program's fifth 100-point scorer at Assumption College on Monday night. Smith's three goals give her 45 in 46 career games, to move into a tie for fourth all-time with Nelson. Senior Alexandria Sylvia (Brockton, Massachusetts/Brockton) chipped in with a goal for the Skyhawks.

Smith opened the scoring with an unassisted tally 12:21 into the contest, but Merrimack answered with a pair of goals less than four minutes apart to grab the lead. Hammond set up Ellis for her fifth goal of the year at 17:31 and then scored off a feed from McNeil at 21:01.

Merrimack stretched its lead to 3-1 when McNeil assisted on Nolte's first goal of the year 3:37 into the second half. Sylvia pulled Stonehill back within a goal with her first of the year, assisted by junior Carly Andersen (Cheshire, Connecticut/Canterbury School), 10:37 into the half, but Simpson restored the Warriors two goal lead seven minutes later with her fourth of the year.

Smith drew Stonehill within a goal again 57-seconds after Simpson's marker off a penalty corner, but Hammond netted her seventh of the season less than two minutes after that on a deflected shot. Smith capped her hat trick with 12:35 still to play for her ninth goal of the year to pull the Skyhawks within a goal once again, but Merrimack would hold on from there, with Ohmen stopping a Smith penalty stroke with 5:37 left that sealed it.

Stonehill (2-3, 0-0 NE10) looks to bounce back when it returns home on Sunday to host the University of New Haven at 1 p.m. Merrimack (4-1, 0-0 NE10) hosts Pace University on Sunday at 2 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.

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