#8 Stonehill Edges Merrimack 11-10

Guisti nets game-winner in the final minutes to send the Skyhawks home winners in regulation

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (March 10, 2011) – Sophomore Jessica Guisti (Walpole, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) scored the decisive goal with less than four minutes remaining as Stonehill College, ranked eighth in this week’s Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II national poll, claimed an 11-10 victory over Northeast-10 Conference opponent Merrimack College on Thursday evening.

Sam Lynott had a game-high four goals to pace Stonehill.

Guisti was one of seven Skyhawks to record points, picking up a pair with the game-winning goal and one assist. Junior Sam Lynott (Holbrook, N.Y./East Sachem) led all scorers with four goals, becoming the second Stonehill player in as many games to reach the career 100-point mark. Sophomores Heather Sullivan (Andover, Mass./Andover) and Kayla Green (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) each scored twice to help pace the Skyhawks, and sophomore goaltender Rebecca Moore (Marlborough, Mass./St. Mark's School) made 13 saves to earn the decision in net.

Merrimack was led by four points from junior Mary Pasquantonio (Plainville, Mass./King Phillip Regional) and three from junior Alicia Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury). Freshman Inna Hedden (Woodbine, Md./South Carroll) took the loss with nine saves.

The Skyhawks jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening minutes, but saw it evaporate just as quickly after the Warriors strung together a 6-0 run sparked by two goals by senior Maria DeStefano (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) and three assists from junior Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass./Bedford). Stonehill recovered to add five before halftime, including two goals apiece from Sullivan and Lynott, and took a slim 9-8 lead into the break.

The defenses dominated a tightly contested second half as the Skyhawks and Warriors combined for four total goals in the final 30 minutes. Moore faced 10 second-half shots as sophomore Jen Pino (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) and senior Christina McCarron (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) broke through to tie the game at 10 with 15 minutes to play, but the Stonehill defensive unit locked them out the rest of the way to set up Guisti’s game-winner. Senior Christine Lanagan (North Dartmouth, Mass./Bishop Stang) recorded a game-high four caused turnovers and classmate Emily Kerwin (Bristol, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey) tallied three caused turnovers and a pair of ground balls.

Guisti struck with 3:50 left on the clock to send Stonehill ahead 11-10, and Merrimack got the ball back on a Skyhawk turnover with 17 seconds left but couldn’t get a final shot away in time.

Stonehill (3-0, 2-0 NE-10) heads to Florida next week for a pair of non-conference matchups with Rollins College and Shepherd University, and will next play at home on March 29 when the Skyhawks host Bentley University at 4 p.m.