Field hockey beats 10th-ranked Merrimack, 1-0, behind Burns' goal

Field hockey beats 10th-ranked Merrimack, 1-0, behind Burns' goal

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Samantha Burns (North Creek, N.Y./Johnsburg Central) scored and classmate Jackie Chisholm (New Braintree, Mass./Quabbin Regional) made nine saves as the Saint Michael's College field hockey team knocked off nationally-ranked Merrimack College, 1-0, in Northeast-10 Conference action at Duffy Field on Wednesday. The Purple Knights improve to 6-3 overall and 2-0 in the league, while the Warriors stand at 5-4 and 1-2. Merrimack, which made an NCAA Tournament Final Four appearance last season, is ranked 10th in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) national poll.

Burns picked up her fourth goal of the season, while Chisholm earned her second shutout this fall as Saint Michael's beat Merrimack for the first time since winning, 3-2, on Oct. 8, 2008, snapping an eight-game series losing streak. Senior Hannah Beardsley (Essex, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional) picked up two defensive saves and classmate Shannon Rice (West River, Md./Elizabeth Seton) collected another and now has 14 for her career, tying her with Ashley Webb '07 for most in program history. Warrior junior Madison Davis (San Jose, Calif./Branham) made six stops in the loss.

Saint Michael's opened the game with four shots in the first 16:46, including a string of three saves by Davis in a matter of 4:49. The hosts then converted on their next offensive threat when senior Cassaundra Davis (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) fired a pair of shots on target that were both stopped, but the second save rebounded to Burns, who buried the third chance to the left side of the keeper at 22:52. Rice posted her defensive save just 1:19 later to keep the visitors off the board, and Chisholm stopped three consecutive shots in the 30th minute before a fourth straight attempt was denied by Beardsley. Chisholm posted another save in the 31st minute, as Merrimack was left scoreless despite registering six shots on net in the first half.

The Warriors controlled much of the offensive possession during the second half as they owned an 8-1 shot advantage. Chisholm recorded four saves in the closing 19:46 - including denying Merrimack's last bid in the 63rd minute - and Beardsley came up with her second defensive save at 51:21.

The Purple and Gold plays again at home Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against ninth-ranked Saint Anselm College.