WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Sarah Dunbar (Hubbardston) came off the bench to score twice during a three-goal second half, helping Merrimack College register a 4-1 non-conference win over host Bentley University in college field hockey action Thursday evening.
Bentley, in the midst of playing five games in nine days to start the season, dipped to 2-2 overall and had its winning streak halted at two. Merrimack, a 2011 NCAA Division II national semifinalist, improved to 2-1.
The Falcons, ranked 10th in Division II preseason, had the edge statistically in the first half, with the lone exception being the most important, the scoreboard. Senior Jen Otis (Penacook, N.H.) lifted the ball into the top of the cage from about ten yards out to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead with 9:16 left until intermission.
It remained a 1-0 game until Merrimack junior Candace Waldie (North Andover) netted her third of 2012, off an assist from senior April Dougherty (Wakefield, R.I.), 9:24 into the second half.
Bentley cut the margin in half about two minutes later, senior Beth Maguire (Medfield/ Medfield HS) scoring her second of the young season on a rebound.
Dunbar restored the Warrior lead to two about three minutes later, and stretched it to a 4-1 game with 17:29 left. That was the third Merrimack goal in a span of just 8:10.
Senior Kerri Bergquist (Mashpee) earned the win in goal, making a total of ten saves.
Merrimack outshot the Falcons 11-4 in the second half to finish with an 18-13 advantage, and also had a 7-4 edge in penalty corners, including 5-0 after the intermission.
Bentley is back in action Saturday afternoon with a 1 pm non-conference game at UMass-Lowell.