Saint Michael's faces third nationally-ranked foe of season, falls at No. 7 Merrimack

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College field hockey team played its third nationally-ranked foe in six games this season on Wednesday, falling at No. 7 Merrimack College, 7-0, on Martone-Mejail Field. The Purple Knights are now 1-5, while the Warriors, who are ranked by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA), improved to 3-1.

Saint Michael's received 12 saves from sophomore Sarah Healey (Canton, Mass./Canton), while junior Candace Waldie (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) did most of the damage for Merrimack, scoring six goals. Senior Jen Otis (Penacook, N.H./Merrimack Valley) added four assists, first-year Katrina Squeri (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) had a goal and a helper, and senior Kerri Bergquist (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee) made five saves.

The Purple Knights took the first two shots and penalty corners of the game but had a pair of attempts stopped by Bergquist in the fourth minute. After Saint Michael's took four of the initial five shots in the contest, the Warriors countered with 19 of the next 23 prior to halftime, with Waldie scoring twice in the opening 15 minutes and then again as time elapsed in the opening half. Squeri assisted the first before Otis helped out on the next two.

Waldie put three more on the board in the second half, with Squeri netting her team's sixth goal during the 59th minute. Saint Michael's nearly cracked the scoring column in the 63rd minute, but sophomore Samantha Burns (North Creek, N.Y./Johnsburg Central) was denied by junior back Sarah Dunbar's (Hubbardston, Mass./Quabbin Regional) defensive save.

The Purple Knights return home for Alumni Weekend, as they take on Assumption College on Saturday at 3 p.m. With a win, Saint Michael's would give head coach Carla Hesler her program-record-tying 127th career win.