Effertz
UML

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- UMass-Lowell (19-3) took down Merrimack (17-3) 3-1 in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament. UMass-Lowell scored three goals in the first 13 minutes to advance into Sunday’s championship game. 

Just two minutes into the game the River Hawks’ Melissa Effertz scored the game’s opening goal. Rachel McCarthy set up the score by sending a pass from the left side of the circle to Effertz. From there she buried a shot past the goalie. 

Eight minutes later Bianca Jones put Lowell up 2-0. Sarah Wilcox created the scoring opportunity as she dribbled the ball up the middle before dumping a pass in front of the net to Jones who burried the shot for a goal.

At the 12:25 mark Jones scored her second goal of the game to put the River Hawks ahead 3-0. Wilcox again set up the goal by dribbling through defenders before passing to Jones on the right side of the net for a score. 

The game remained 3-0 entering halftime. UMass-Lowell held the advantage in shots in the first half 9-4 and in corners, 3-2. 

Sarah Salatto put the Warriors of Merrimack on the board with a score at the 51:36 mark in the second half. Katie Zubkus was credited with an assist after dribbling the ball down the right sideline before sending a pass into the middle of the circle. From there Salatto one-touched a shot that beat the goalie, bringing them to within two.

Neither team would score for the remainder of the contest as UMass-Lowell advanced to the 2011 NCAA Championship game. The River Hawks will be going for their second consecutive national title.

Shots in the second half were in favor of the Warriors 8-4 and so were corner opportunities 5-2. Melanie Hopkins of UMass-Lowell came up with five saves in Friday’s win while her counterpart from Merrimack, Kerri Bergquist, also made five saves.