NE-10 TOURNAMENT: #8 Stonehill Fires Past #13 Merrimack, 15-3

Junior Heather Sullivan scored three first half goals to spark the Skyhawks to an 8-1 halftime lead. (PHOTO BY Shane Bufano)

Third-seeded Skyhawks dominant on offensive and defensive end in advancing to 14th-straight NE-10 semifinal round

EASTON, Mass. (May 2, 2012) – Third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked eighth in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, was dominant on the offensive and defensive ends in storming to a 15-3 victory over sixth-seeded and 13th-ranked Merrimack College in first round action of the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament at Timothy J. Coughlin Memorial Field at W.B. Mason Stadium tonight.

Stonehill (14-4, 10-2 NE-10) advances to the semifinal round of the NE-10 Tournament for a Conference record 14th-straight year in as many postseason appearances where it will face second-seeded and two-time defending tournament champions Adelphi University (14-2, 11-1 NE-10), ranked No. 2 nationally, at top-seeded Le Moyne College's Niland Athletic Complex on Saturday at 2 p.m. Adelphi and Le Moyne (15-1, 12-0 NE-10) each earned first round byes and the No. 1 nationally ranked Dolphins will face fourth-seeded and 9th-ranked Bentley University (13-5, 9-3 NE-10), a 9-8 first round winner over fifth-seeded and 7th-ranked University of New Haven tonight, in Saturday's first semifinal at 11 a.m.

Senior All-American Samantha Lynott filled the stat sheet with three goals and an assist for four points with four ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers. (PHOTO BY Andrew Katsampes)

Senior All-American Samantha Lynott (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East) and junior Kayla Green (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) led the Stonehill offense as each totaled three goals and an assist. Lynott also contributed four ground balls, three draw controls and two caused turnovers, while Green converted 3-of-4 free-position shot attempts. Junior Heather Sullivan (Andover, Mass./Andover) also netted three goals for the Skyhawks, while junior All-American Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) posted two goals and an assist for three points and tallied five draw controls, three caused turnovers and two ground balls.

Senior All-American Sarah Galligan (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional) also added two goals and an assist for three points, moving within seven points of becoming the program's 12th 200-point scorer. Freshman Brooke Rudden (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) chipped in with a goal and assist off the bench.

Junior All-American Rebecca Moore matched her season-high with 12 saves tonight. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Junior All-American Rebecca Moore (Marlborough, Mass./St. Mark's School) matched her season high with 12 saves in goal for Stonehill, adding eight ground balls. The Skyhawks posted a 43-19 advantage for shots in the contest, including 36-15 on goal, converting 5-of-12 free-position shots, compared to 1-for-7 for Merrimack. Stonehill forced 18 turnovers, while committing just 13, and was successful on 17-of-23 clear attempts while posting a 14-6 edge on draw controls. The Warriors were successful on 14-of-19 clears and got a 21 save effort from junior Sam Kiesel (Andover, Mass./Kent's Hill School) in the cage.

Sophomore Tyler Szymanski (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) scored two of Merrimack's three goals and added three ground balls. Senior Colleen Strachan (Bedford, Mass./Bedford) netted the Warriors remaining goal and contributed three ground balls and two draw controls.

Stonehill scored the first seven goals of the contest and never looked back. Sullivan opened the scoring with two goals just 32-seconds apart in the seventh minute of play. All three of her goals on the night came in the opening run, while Lynott posted two goals and an assist and Rudden tallied a goal and assist.

Szymanski got Merrimack on the board, assisted by freshman Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass./Bishop Stang), with 4:02 remaining in the opening half. Reilly regained Stonehill's seven goal lead at the break (8-1) with a goal, assisted by Galligan, with 1:11 left.

Green and Szymanski traded free position goals in the opening seven minutes of the second half before Stonehill sealed the win with a six goal run. Lynott and Galligan sparked the clinching run with goals a minute and a half apart and Green capped the stretch with her second and third markers of the half, both on free-position shots, at 15:09 and 11:33 before setting up Reilly for a goal with 9:08 to play. Strachan closed out the scoring with her 40th of the season with 6:56 to play.

Merrimack finishes its season with a 7-9 record overall, including a 7-5 clip in Northeast-10 play, having made its 12th postseason appearance.

Postgame Interviews