NASHUA, N.H. -- The Simmons College Sharks (4-1, 3-0 GNAC) 13 – 7 defeated the Rivier University Raiders (3-1, 1-1 GNAC) today in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference matchup. The teams were tied at three going into the half before the Sharks pushed ahead in the 2nd stanza.
The Raiders got off to a good start, jumping ahead to a 2 – 0 lead just over 11 minutes into the game on a pair of goals from Rebecca Wickens with both assists coming from Savannah Neuwirt. Wickens second goal was a nice shot from high in the slot that beat Crystal Derosier (Kingston, Mass.) in goal for Simmons.
The Sharks responded with a pair of quick strikes from Stephanie Oliveri (Waltham, Mass.) and Ali Stonehouse (Keene, N.H.) just 6 seconds apart at the 12:08 mark and 12:14 mark respectively. Oliveri picked up a ground ball and bounced a low shot on goal that beat Danielle Moran. Moran turned in a nice save at the 13:38 mark, turning aside a bid from Greer Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.).
Moran came up big again, pulling out a save for the Raiders at the 28:36 mark on a shot from Stonehouse. Simmons continued to press and would answer just 52 seconds away from the halftime break to tie the score at 3 with a strike from Gilbert. Moran had to come up with another save with 12 ticks left on the clock, denying Rachel Wallace (Braintree, Mass.) to keep the score knotted.
Simmons jumped back on the scoreboard 2:53 into the 2nd half on an unassisted strike from Oliveri. The Raiders answered twenty-five seconds later on a tally from Wickens to tie the score at four. Eighty seconds later, at the 4:38 mark, Simmons pulled ahead 5 – 4 with another strike from Oliveri. This time she hooked from the back left of the goal, slipped into the slot and fired a strike.
At the 5:10 mark Simmons struck again on a tally by Leanne Luke (Newton, Mass.). Oliveri, working from out left of the slot fed Luke who used a nice spin to break down the Raider defense and release a low shot that beat Moran and pushed the visitors in front 6 – 4.
Gilbert put the Sharks ahead 7 – 4 when she rolled right to left from high in the slot down to the crease and placed a nice shot in the net. With the Sharks threatening to pull away, Wallace had a free opportunity at the 7:43 mark, but Moran came up with a big save to keep the Raiders within three. The Raiders came up with an opportunity to close the gap when Reilly carried left to right high in the slot and let go a sharp shot, but Derosier made a stellar save.
At the 13:45 mark, Gilbert made a fast drive down the slot and fired a low shot inside the left post. Almost two minutes later, Oliveri, working on the side of the cage to Moran's right, put a high pass into Wallace at the top of the crease and she snapped a quick shot that Moran made a nice body save on to keep the visitors at bay.
The Sharks kept the pressure up, and at the 16:24 mark Wallace converted an unopposed opportunity bouncing a goal home for a 10 – 5 lead. At the 11:39 mark, Simmons pushed ahead 11 – 5 on a goal from Chelsea Keefe (Averill Park, N.Y.), her second in as many games. Keefe powered through the crease and picked the top right corner in stride.
The Sharks added their final tally of the day at the 25:22 mark. Rachel Wallace fed Ashley Sheehan (North Attleboro, Mass.) at the top of the slot and she made a quick run down the slot before bouncing a low shot home for the tally, 13 – 7.
With the loss, the Raiders fall to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the GNAC. Simmons improves to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the GNAC. The Raiders return to action tomorrow at Worcester State at 1:00 p.m. in an out of conference match-up, while the Sharks return to action with another GNAC opponent, hosting Emmanuel on Wednesday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m.