WALTHAM, Mass. – Merrimack College scored three unanswered goals in the first half, including what proved to be the game-winner with under five seconds left, and held on for a 3-2 win over Bentley University in non-conference field hockey action, spoiling the Falcons' home-opener Wednesday evening.
The Warriors, ranked ninth in the NFHCA Division II preseason coaches' rankings, started fast with goals from senior Taylor Simpson (York, Maine) and junior Delaney Yule (Southbury, Conn.) in the first 11 minutes. It remained that way until senior Rylie Hammond (Phillipston) sent Merrimack (1-1) lifted the ball into the cage with 4.8 seconds left until the break.
Bentley, after three scoreless halves to open the season, came storming out of the break and finally found the back of the cage 34 seconds into the second with sophomore Sam Pavano (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand HS) knocking in a rebound.
A little more than halfway into the second, senior Rebecca Schroder (South Windsor, Conn./ South Windsor HS) made it a one-goal game after scoring out of a scramble in front of the net.
Bentley (0-2) continued to attack but could not put the ball past Merrimack sophomore goalie Katharina Ohmen (Bremen, Germany), who finished with 13 saves.
Junior Jana Mones (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey HS) made four saves for Bentley, which finished with a 22-12 shot advantage (including 14-7 in the second half). Penalty corners were even at a dozen apiece.
Bentley will be back at home Saturday, hosting Adelphi University in an 11 am contest.