Perdie's Late Tally Helps #7 Merrimack Escape at Bentley

WALTHAM, Mass. A game between two of top teams in the Northeast-10 lived up to its billing, but it was No. 7 Merrimack that came away with a close 7-6 victory over Bentley in an intense match-up Wednesday night.

Leading 7-6 with under two minutes left in the game Merrimack had the ball in the offensive end. But Falcons defensemen Connor Holbrook (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) caused a turnover and goalie Josh Baker (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) picked up the loose ball to give Bentley possession.

After a successful clear Bentley called a timeout with 42 seconds left to set up its final possession. Bentley passed the ball around looking for a good shot, but compact Merrimack defense prevented them from getting a good look from close range. Bentley had to settle for a long-range shot by freshman David Phelps (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) that was saved by Merrimack goalie Dom Madonna with nine seconds left, enabling his team to run out the clock and hang on for the victory.

Both teams came into the game with identical 5-1 Northeast-10 records, but Merrimack's win improves its mark to 6-1.

The Falcons led 2-0 after the first quarter on goals junior Bobby Hinds (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) and freshman John Wheeler (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough). But the Warriors stormed back with a five-goal second period to Bentley's one goal, giving them a 5-3 lead at the break. Five different players had the goals for Merrimack.

But Bentley got the better of the third quarter. Junior Cutler Dimond (Marblehead, Mass./Tabor Academy) had a man-up goal 50 seconds into the quarter. Wheeler followed up with a goal a little over three minutes later to tie the game 5-5. Neither team scored for more than eight minutes, but Wheeler found the back of the net again at the 2:44 mark to give the Falcons a 6-5 lead. However, Merrimack's Tim Towler scored the tying goal with 1:30 left in the quarter.

Senior midfielder Mike Perdie scored what would be the game-winning goal for Merrimack at the 12:59 mark of the fourth quarter to put them ahead 7-6. That was the final goal of the night.

Bentley will next take the field on Saturday against Assumption. Game time is 1:00 pm

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WALTHAM, Mass. With the game tied at six early in the final stanza, Mike Perdie found the net at the 12:59 mark to lead seventh-ranked Merrimack to a 7-6 victory over Bentley on Wednesday night at the Bentley Turf Complex.

After being outscored 2-0 in the opening stanza, Merrimack ripped off four uninterrupted goals over a span of nine minutes to start the second quarter to take a lead it would never relinquish. Bentley stopped the bleeding with its third goal of the game with 5:01 left in the half, but the Warriors had the last laugh before the break, as junior Kyle Guilbert (Walpole, Mass.) sent the visitors into the locker room ahead by two (5-3) with his only marker of the game at the 2:44 mark.

But the Falcons, who were receiving votes in the latest USILA National Rankings, stole that momentum right back with a strong start to the third quarter; Bentley drew to within one on a man-up goal just 50 seconds into the second half before drawing even at 11:03. Then, with 2:44 left, John Wheeler would push the Falcons ahead with his third goal of the contest, but sophomore Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) responded just over a minute later to send the match into the fourth period all even at 6-6.

That set the stage for Perdie, who made his only goal of the game stand as the game-winner with just under 13 minutes to play. Equipped with that one-goal lead, freshman goalkeeper Dom Madonna (Liverpool, N.Y.) came up with three of his career-high 11 saves over the remainder of regulation while the Warrior defense forced two Bentley turnovers to hang on for the win.


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