Second Half Surge Sends Merrimack Past Field Hockey, 4-1

BOX SCORE 

When and Where: September 26, 2017 – Manchester, N.H. (Larkin Field)
Score: Merrimack College 4, Southern New Hampshire University 1
Records: SNHU 5-3 (2-2 Northeast-10), Merrimack 6-3 (2-2 Northeast-10)

Junior Maddie Holt (Seabrook, N.H.) staked the Southern New Hampshire University field hockey team to an early lead on Tuesday but Merrimack College tallied four consecutive goals, including three in the second half, to post a 4-1 victory over the Penmen in Northeast-10 Conference action at Larkin Field.

After the two sides were scoreless through the game's first 17 minutes, Holt put the hosts ahead with her third goal of the year. Senior Mikaela Gauvain (Salem, N.H.) started the play by securing a loose ball along the right sideline in the Southern New Hampshire end of the field and sending a pass up to sophomore Isabel Hoyt (Boscawen, N.H.). Hoyt smacked a pass to the middle of the field to freshman Hélène Servais (Brussels, Belgium), and she gathered the feed just outside the circle before breaking in two-on-one with Holt. After getting the defender to commit, Servais slid a feed over to Holt, and she hammered a one-timer from 10 yards out to the top of the cage to make it 1-0 with 17:56 left in the half.

The lead would be short-lived, however, as Merrimack answered with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first. Off a Warriors' penalty corner, Mary McNeil gathered a pass just inside the top of the circle and fired a quick shot towards the cage. Rylie Hammons was camped on the doorstep, and she redirected the bid just inside the nearside post to make it one-all with 6:26 to go before intermission.

After the halftime break, McNeil picked right back up where she left off by etching her name onto the scoresheet for a second time. McNeil carried the ball over midfield and through the middle of the Southern New Hampshire defense before feeding Taylor Simpson at the top of the circle. Simpson returned the pass to McNeil, and she buried a shot to the far post to give the visitors the lead for good at 1:39 of the second.

Colleen Ellis added an insurance marker from Lindsey Nolte with 27:03 to play before McNeil capped her five-point night with an unassisted tally to provide the game's final margin of scoring. 

Notes:
- Junior Melanie Rennie (Madison, Conn.) stopped seven shots in the setback, while her counterpart, Katharina Ohmen, made five saves for Merrimack.
- The Penmen were outshot, 14-8, on the evening and 8-3 over the course of the final 35 minutes of action. Merrimack put 11 of its shot on target, while SNHU saw six of its attempts land on cage.
- Southern New Hampshire drew four penalty corners on Tuesday while yielding 11 to Merrimack.

What's Next:
The Penmen look to snap their two-game skid Saturday when they host Assumption College on Larkin Field at 1 p.m.

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