NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's soccer team yielded only two goals 6:20 apart in the second half during a 2-1 loss to regionally-ranked Merrimack College on Tuesday at Martone-Mejail Field. The Purple Knights have now suffered both of their losses by 2-1 margins, slipping to 2-2-1 overall and 1-2 in the Northeast-10 Conference, with all five games decided by one goal or less. The Warriors, who sit ninth in this week's United Soccer Coaches East Region poll, are 4-2 and 1-2, having defeated No. 7 LIU Post in their last game.
Senior Abby Pelon (South Lyon, Mich./Ladywood) netted her first goal of the season, while first-year Taryn Manna (Shirley, Mass./Home Schooled) notched an assist, her third point in two games. Junior Megan LeCours (Barre, Vt./Spaulding) came within one save of her career high, posting 11, as Saint Michael's took on its second of five consecutive regionally-ranked foes. It downed the University of New Haven, 1-0, on Saturday to begin the run. Thirteen of the Purple and Gold's last 17 meetings with Merrimack have now been decided by a goal or less.
Senior Cassie Giza and sophomore Haley Oliveira scored off the Warrior bench, and senior Molly Meehan made four stops.
Pelon and junior Emily Durette (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) had bids in the sixth and seventh minutes blocked and saved, respectively, before LeCours made the first of her seven first-half stops in the 24th minute. The netminder knocked away tries by first-year Izzy McDonnell in both the 28th and 29th minutes, and the Purple Knights countered at the other end, as Pelon lofted a shot just under the crossbar at 28:56 to put her team in front. Manna assisted. Over the final 9:36, Merrimack took six shots and three corner kicks but was unable to break through.
LeCours notched another stop in the 50th minute before sophomore Greta Ricigliano (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) was denied providing the Purple Knights a 2-0 edge in the 61st minute by a Meehan save. Oliveira leveled the contest at 65:15, heading home junior Amber Gustafson's corner kick cross. On the next shot, Giza potted the winner at 71:35 off of quick ball movement from McDonnell and first-year Bridget Austin. Meehan stopped Pelon's attempt in the 81st minute, and a final 87th-minute try from sophomore back Meghan Dieterle (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) off of a long free kick went directly on the keeper, who made the save.
Saint Michael's visits No. 8 Adelphi University on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Panthers are receiving their national ranking from the United Soccer Coaches while also holding down the top spot in the East Region poll. Adelphi qualified for three of the last four NCAA Tournaments.