Second Half Surge Sends #6 Stonehill Past #11 Merrimack, 12-8

Senior All-American Sarah Galligan scored three of her game-high four goals in the second half to lead the Skyhawks comeback. (PHOTO BY Andrwe Katsampes)

Galligan and Reilly fuel Skyhawks in bounce back win

EASTON, Mass. (April 12, 2012) – Stonehill College, ranked sixth in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, rallied in the second half to claim a 12-8 victory over 11th-ranked Merrimack College in Northeast-10 Conference women's lacrosse action at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Senior All-American Sarah Galligan (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional) scored three of her game-high four goals in the second half to spur Stonehill's rally from a two goal (6-4) halftime deficit to the victory. She converted 2-of-4 free-position shots and also chipped in three ground balls. Junior All-American Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) was dominant on both ends of the field and she finished with a team-high five points on two goals, converting 1-of-2 free-position attempts, and three assists while also leading the team with eight ground balls, eight caused turnovers and six draw controls.

Junior Kayla Green (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) contributed two goals and an assist for three points with three ground balls, while senior All-American Samantha Lynott (Holbrook, N.Y./East Sachem) netted two goals to draw closer to becoming the 11th 200-point scorer in program history with 197 after tonight's contest. She also chipped in with five draw controls, four ground balls and four caused turnovers. Junior Heather Sullivan (Andover, Mass./Andover) finished with a goals and assist for the Skyhawks.

Junior All-American Kelsey Reilly piled up five points, eight ground balls, eight caused turnovers and six draw controls tonight. (PHOTO BY Shane Bufano)

Freshman Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) posted nine saves in goal for Stonehill as the Skyhawks finished with a 34-23 advantage in shots for the contest, including a 25-17 edge in shots on goal, converting 3-of-7 draw controls in the second half after going 0-for-4 in the first half. Stonehill held a 13-9 advantage on draw controls and was successful on 16-of-17 clear attempts, including all eight in the second half. Junior Sam Kiesel (Andover, Mass./Kents Hill School) finished with 13 stops in goal for Merrimack.

Senior Mary Pasquantonio (Plainville, Mass./King Phillip Regional) led Merrimack with three goals, while sophomore Olivia Huie (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) contributed two goals and an assist for three points, converting both free-position attempts, and adding three ground balls and a caused turnover.

Stonehill trailed by two at the half and Green scored just under five minutes into the second half to pull the Skyhawks within a goal. Pasquantonio answered with a goal, assisted by senior Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass./Bedford), less than a minute later to regain the two goal margin (7-5) with 24:23 remaining.

Stonehill outscored Merrimack 7-1 the rest of the half to take control of the game. Reilly sparked the rally with a free-position goal with 22:30 left and then Galligan netted three-straight unassisted markers to put the Skyhawks in front for good (9-7) with her fourth of the contest on a free-position shot with 15:04 left. Sophomore Mary Lee Mahony (Yardley, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie) extended the Skyhawks lead to 10-7 with her 16th goal of the season, assisted by Sullivan with 12:23 to play.

Merrimack drew a goal back with Huie's second free-position goal of the night with 1:50 remaining, but Reilly set up Sullivan and Lynott for goals at 7:11 and 2:21, respectively, to seal the Skyhawks sixth win in eight tries against a ranked opponent this season.

Stonehill took the early momentum in the game, netting the first three goals, with Reilly and Green each collecting a goal and assist, in the opening 10:35. Senior Alicia Tinsley (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) put Merrimack on the scoreboard with an unassisted marker with 19:02 left in the half that sparked a four goal run to give the Warriors their first lead. Pasquantonio knotted the score (3-3) with a free-position goal with 11:56 left and then put the Warriors in front with an unassisted marker with 9:03 left.

Galligan scored her first of the night to pull Stonehill back even (4-4) with 7:11 remaining, but Merrimack took a two goal halftime lead as Huie set up freshman Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass./Tabor Academy) with 3:45 left and then scored a free-position goal with 1:40 to go.

 (10-2, 8-1 NE-10) is off until next Tuesday, April 18, when it hosts Southern New Hampshire University for an NE-10 matchup at 4 p.m. Merrimack (4-7, 4-5 NE-10) travels to Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Postgame Interviews