Against No. 9 East Stroudsburg, No. 5 Merrimack rebounds from loss
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- With the match tied at 2-2 after 35 minutes of play, forward April Daugherty tallied two goals in a three-minute span, propelling No. 5 Merrimack to a 4-3 road win against No. 9 East Stroudsburg on Sunday.
A day after suffering a season-opening setback against top-ranked West Chester, the Warriors (1-1) found victory against ESU (1-1) in a battle between two teams that advanced to the semifinals in last fall’s tournament.
Daugherty, who totaled 50 points en route to All-American honors last season, picked up her first three markers of the year on Sunday, and all of them were needed in a match that came down to the wire.
After both teams went into the break tied at two goals apiece, Daugherty untied the contest with her second goal at 52:30 off a penalty corner set up by Candace Waldie and Jamie Spano to push the visitors up by a 3-2 margin.
Three minutes later, Daugherty doubled the lead on an unassisted strike to round out her offensive performance.
The 4-2 advantage would hold until Lauren Ventrella scored on an assist from Ally Roth with just less than 10 minutes to play.
Goalkeeper Kerri Bergquist turned in 13 saves to preserve the lead and seal the victory for the Warriors.
“It was a great team win today,” head coach Anne Rounce said. “We definitely attacked the ball more and played as a unit. ESU was a strong opponent and this game will help prepare us for our conference play.”
Waldie put the visitors on the board early, scoring her second tally of the season and first of the game after taking a pass from Daugherty and slotting it past ESU goalkeeper Sarah Dobroskey just 3:27 into the game.
ESU would tie the contest five minutes later on an Ally Roth unassisted score, but Daugherty’s first goal of the game put Merrimack ahead 2-1 at 13:54 of the first half.
A goal by Mallory Pope with just over a minute to go in the first frame tied the score heading into halftime, but Daugherty’s second-half attack sealed the win for Merrimack.
“All in all, this was a good road win against a very good team,” Rounce said. “We are looking forward to working hard for Thursday’s game against a talented Bentley team.”
ESU held advantages in both shot attempts (21-13) and penalty corners (10-6), but Bergquist’s saves insured the victory for the Warriors.