Purple Knights take lead before falling to nationally-ranked Merrimack, 2-1

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team took the lead before dropping a 2-1 decision to nationally-ranked Merrimack College in a Northeast-10 Conference tilt on Wednesday at Duffy Field. With the defeat, the Purple Knights fall to 4-11 overall and 2-5 in conference, while the Warriors, who advanced to last season's NCAA Tournament semifinals and are ranked seventh in this week's National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll, improve to 12-2 and 6-1.

Sophomore Samantha Burns (North Creek, N.Y./Johnsburg Central) scored her second goal of the season for Saint Michael's, while classmate Jackie Chisholm (New Braintree, Mass./Quabbin Regional) stopped four shots in net. The Purple Knights outshot the visitors, 17-11, while holding a 7-3 advantage in penalty corners.

Merrimack received goals from junior Candace Waldie (North Andover, Mass./North Andover/UMass) and first-year Katrina Squeri (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford). Senior April Daugherty (Wakefield, R.I./Lincoln) assisted both, while classmate Kerri Bergquist (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) made eight saves.

Saint Michael's struck first at 10:42 when Burns collected a rebound on the doorstep following a shot from senior Julia Heald (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady) that Bergquist saved. In the 23rd minute, Daugherty grabbed a rebound and slipped a pass toward the right post for Squeri, who knotted the game at 22:11. The Warriors scored again 1:55 later, as Waldie found the back of the net at 24:06 on a pass from Daugherty at the top of the circle.

Chisholm came out of her net to snuff out a Merrimack scoring chance in the 57th minute before stopping a hard shot from close range by Daugherty in the 62nd minute. Heald fired a potential equalizer in the 69th minute, as Bergquist was sprawled out in the middle of the circle, but the goalkeeper denied the attempt of the nearby attacker. Neither team was able to get a shot off in the remainder of the contest.

The Purple Knights return to action on Saturday when they hit the road to face Franklin Pierce University for a 1 p.m. game.