Seniors Spark #20 Women's Lacrosse Past Merrimack, 13-5

Senior Caitlin Sweeney recorded career-highs of seven goals and eight points tonight. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Sweeney nets career-high seven goals on career-best eight point night

EASTON, Mass. (April 28, 2016) – Stonehill College, ranked 20th in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, spotted Merrimack College a three goal lead in the opening seven minutes before taking control with a ten goal run on its way to a 13-5 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's lacrosse action on Senior Night at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Stonehill three seniors all shined on Senior Night with Caitlin Sweeney (Hollis, New Hampshire/Hollis-Brookline) leading the way with a career-high eight points as she netted a career-best seven goals – just two shy of the program's single-game record – to go with an assist, converting 5-of-7 free-position shots. Classmate Rebecca Matheson (Reading, Massachusetts/Reading Memorial) netted three goals, while Remi DiRe (Winchester, Massachusetts/Winchester) paced the defense with three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Juniors Elizabeth Vetter (Great River, New York/East Islip) and Shannon Booth (Pearl River, New York/Nanuet) as well as sophomore All-American Kelly Healey (Westwood, Massachusetts/Westwood) all chipped in a goal for Stonehill. Vetter also tallied five ground balls, three draw controls and a caused turnover.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Hess (Guilderland, New York/Guilderland) registered three saves, all in the second half, for Stonehill which posted a 30-9 advantage for shots on the night, converting 7-of-12 free-position shots. The Skyhawks also controlled possession with a 15-4 advantage for draw controls, converting 11-of-14 clears compared to 15-for-23 for Merrimack, and forcing 23 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.

Senior Rebecca Matheson netted three goals in her final home game. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Freshman Amber Feminella (Cortlandt Manor, New York/Hendrick Hudson) scored three of Merrimack's five goals on the night, while adding two draw controls. Sophomore Alexa Petzold (Ridgewood, New Jersey/Ridgewood) posted seven saves over the opening 38:12 of the contest, before giving way to freshman Lauren Trepaney (Nashua, New Hampshire/Bishop Guertin) who stopped four shots in the final 21:28.

Merrimack scored the first three goals of the contest in the opening 7:02 after junior Hunter McCarthy's (Avon, Connecticut/Avon) 27th goal of the season just 15-seconds after Feminella's first of the night. Stonehill followed by scoring the next ten goals, including six on free-position shots to close out the first half and hold a 6-3 halftime lead. Sweeney scored five of the Skyhawks six first half goals, including three straight within a five minute span to knot the score at three goals apiece.

Matheson's opening goal put Stonehill in front for good with 11:05 left in the half and then Sweeney capped the first half scoring with two more goals, the last of which came with just 12-seconds remaining. Stonehill scored the first four goals of the second half to stretch its lead to 10-3 with Vetter's 25th goal of the season, assisted by Sweeney, with 19:44 on the clock. Sweeney and Matheson also potted goals during the run for the Skyhawks.

Feminella ended the run for Merrimack with her second of the night, but Stonehill added two more goals by Healey and Matheson to open an eight goal lead (12-4) with 12:10 to play. Feminella capped her three goal night with her 45th goal of the season with 9:33 on the clock and then Sweeney finished her seven goal outburst with her 32nd of the year. Sweeney and Matheson both enter Saturday's game with 95 career points.

Stonehill honored its three seniors (l-r) Remi DiRe, Rebecca Matheson and Caitlin Sweeney and their families before tonight's game.

Stonehill (8-8, 6-6 NE-10) closes out its regular season schedule at Pace University on Saturday at noon. The Skyhawks can clinch a spot in next week's NE-10 Tournament with a win on Saturday or would need help depending on American International College's result against Saint Michael's College. Merrimack (4-12, 1-11 NE-10) closes out its season on Saturday when it hosts Assumption College at 4 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.