MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's lacrosse team suffered a 17-8 defeat to nationally-ranked Merrimack College on Wednesday afternoon at Grappone Stadium in Northeast-10 Conference action.
The Hawks fall to 6-5 overall and to 4-4 in NE10 action while the Warriors, who entered the game ranked 18th in the latest Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division II national poll, improve to 7-5 overall and 7-2 against league opponents.
It was the second nationally-ranked team in as many games that Saint Anselm faced and the fourth one overall that they have battled this season.
Senior Molly Beck (Old Saybrook, Conn.) led the Hawks with four points on three goals and an assist, finishing the contest with 32 goals on the year. Junior Breda Holland (Londonderry, N.H.) and freshman Jenna Balboni (Billerica, Mass.) each finished with three points. Holland had two goals and an assist, putting her two tallies away from a single-season best mark, while Balboni had a goal and two helpers.
It was a low-scoring first half as the teams combined for just six goals in the first 30 minutes of action. After the Warriors went ahead 2-0 in the first three minutes, sophomore Annie Richards (Reading, Mass.) found the back of the net for Saint Anselm to cut the lead in half with 3:23 gone off the clock.
Merrimack regained a two-goal lead on Meghan Dzialo's second tally of the contest midway through the frame, but Beck answered less than a minute later to bring the hosts back to within a goal. Dzialo ended the first half scoring with 11:51 to play on a free position goal.
Both teams scored in the first 1:40 of the second half before the Warriors built a 7-3 advantage with 24:10 to play in the contest. The Hawks responded with goals by Holland and Balboni to bring the deficit back to just two.
However, Merrimack scored nine of the next 10 goals for 15-6 lead with 8:06 left in regulation, including three tallies from Amber Feminella.
The teams scored four more goals in the final six minutes for the 17-8 final.
Junior Bailee Pudvar (Shelburne, Vt.) had 13 saves in net while taking the loss for Saint Anselm. Merrimack had a 37-33 edge in shots, including 21-13 in the second half. Lauren Trepaney made 17 saves in net for the Warriors for her seventh win of the season.
The Hawks hit the road to take on their third consecutive nationally-ranked team in No. 17 Assumption College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 13.