NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Candace Waldie found the back of the cage on a school-record six occasions, propelling the No. 7 Merrimack to a 7-0 shutout in its home opener against Saint Michael’s on Wednesday at Martone-Mejail Field.
Merrimack enjoyed an breakout performance, scoring a school-record six times, finishing the game with a career-high and single-game record 12 points to help the Warriors improve to 3-1 on the young season.
Waldie put the Warriors ahead at 9:41 of the first half, taking a pass from Katrina Squeri in front of the net and promptly burying it in the lower-left corner of the cage, giving the home side an early 1-0 edge.
Less than five minutes later, Waldie struck again. Following a scrum in front of the net after a penalty corner, Waldie took a pass from Jen Otis and put it home for her second score of the game – and fifth of the season – doubling the Warriors’ lead to 2-0.
Merrimack was awarded a late penalty corner and promptly capitalized. With no time on the clock, Otis settled the ball and found Waldie, who moved around a defender en route to her third goal of the match, giving the Warriors a 3-0 advantage after the first 35 minutes of action.
Waldie picked up right where she left off early into the second stanza, taking a pass across the box from Jamie Spano and burying it for her fourth strike of the match. Four minutes later, at 44:39, Waldie and Otis connected once more, as the latter took an initial hard shot from around 10 yards out before Waldie tipped it into the cage, upping the lead to 5-0 with 25 minutes to play.
Fourteen minutes later, Squeri received a pass across the circle from Otis and finished in the lower-left corner for her first collegiate marker, upping the advantage to 6-0. Finally, with less than three minutes to play, Waldie intercepted an errant pass and pounced for her sixth goal of the game to round out the scoring.
The Warriors dominated possession in the attacking end, out-shooting the Purple Knights (1-5, 0-5 NE-10) by a 38-11 margin, while goalkeeper Sarah Healey came up with 12 saves while Kerri Bergquist came up with five saves and benefitted from a defensive stop from Sarah Dunbar.