COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's lacrosse team used a 3-0 run to snap a tie early in the second half of a 9-7 victory over Merrimack College on Wednesday at Duffy Field, downing the Warriors at home for the first time since April 10, 2004. Now 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference, the Purple Knights matched the win totals they turned in last season, as they have tied their highest overall victories count since 2008. Merrimack is 2-8 and 1-6.
Saint Michael's, which had been 1-9 against the Warriors since 2005, received two goals and three ground balls from senior Claire Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) and two goals and five ground balls from junior Kate Boyer (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle). Classmate Courtney Piper (Wolfeboro, N.H./Brewster Academy) scored while dishing out three assists, and first-year Ali Gosselin (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) had a goal, two assists and three ground balls. First-year Grace Gunning (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) had one second-half save in earning her first collegiate win, and sophomore Casey Curtin (Waltham, Mass./Ursuline Academy) stopped four shots in the opening stanza.
Senior Crystal King (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) posted a goal and an assist, while junior Hannah Beardsley (Manchester, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) and sophomore Steph Bonewald (New London, N.H./Proctor Academy) also scored, with Bonewald collecting three draw controls. Junior Taylor Midgley (Hampton, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) controlled five draws.
Sophomore Shealyn Anthony (Stoneham, Mass./Austin Prep) netted a hat trick for Merrimack, while junior Giulia Palombo (Sandwich, Mass./Tabor Academy) had a goal and an assist. Senior Inna Hedden (Woodbine, Md./South Carroll) made six saves.
Bonewald and Boyer scored 1:39 apart to put the Purple Knights ahead 2-0 just 5:57 into the game before Merrimack responded, as Anthony and Palombo tallied 38 seconds apart to knot the contest by 18:32. Martin scored off a Piper feed just 22 seconds after that, and Piper made it 4-2 at 12:19, but Merrimack chipped within 4-3 by halftime.
After the visitors held a 12-10 edge in shots during the opening stanza, Saint Michael's doubled them up by a 12-6 count in the second half. Anthony scored off a free-position try at 26:18 to tie the game, but Gosselin put the Purple and Gold ahead for good 2:28 later off a Piper dish. Boyer doubled the advantage at 21:12, and King capped the pivotal 3-0 run off another Piper assist at 16:34. Anthony completed her hat trick with 15:02 remaining, bringing the Warriors within 7-5, but Martin scored the eventual winner at 12:34, and Merrimack never again trimmed the deficit to fewer than two goals.
The Purple Knights play four of their next five games on the road, beginning on Tuesday at Franklin Pierce University at 4 p.m.