PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Unfortunately for the Storm, Lake Erie couldn't reprise its opener-turned-relocated game at Notre Dame from a week ago. For on Wednesday evening at Jack Britt Stadium, LEC's 2014 home debut was a night for the visitors.
The visiting Mercyhurst (Pa.) Lakers scored eight unanswered goals over the first 16 minutes of play en route to a 24-3 win over Lake Erie (1-4) in the Storm's week-delayed home opener. MU outscored LEC, 17-1, in the first half and for the game outshot the Storm, 36-10.
The loss for the Storm came eight days after an originally-scheduled March 11 game was relocated to Notre Dame due to snow on the playing surface at Britt Stadium. The Green & White won that game in impressive fashion, topping NDC, 10-9, with a last-minute goal.
But on Wednesday night, the home side ceded the game's momentum early on, and the Lakers went on to dominate in possession time.
Mercyhurst (4-1) took a 4-0 lead over the first three minutes of play. The Lakers upped their lead to 9-0 before the Storm managed a score. That first LEC score came off the stick of Hana Abu-Kwiek.
The visitors answered with two goals over the next two minutes and by the 13-minute mark had built an 11-1 lead. With 10 different Laker players finding the back of the net, MU built its lead to 17-1 by halftime. Mercyhurst outshot LEC, 25-6, over the first 30 minutes.
Lake Erie struck first in the second half, when Samantha Gryba scored her seventh goal of the season. But the Lakers then went on another run, scoring the game's next four goals. Mercyhurst went on to outscore the Storm, 7-2, in the second half in wrapping up the 24-3 victory.
Six MU players scored multiple goals in the game. The leader of the pack was Becca Himes, who tallied four goals and three assists on the night.
Mercyhurst had 18 ground balls to Lake Erie's nine. The Lakers traded their 11 turnovers for the Storm's 17. The visitors put 33 of their 36 shots on goal.
Wednesday's game marked the front half of two straight home games on LEC's schedule. The Storm will host McKendree (Mo.) on Sunday (12 p.m. opening draw).
Notes: With Wednesday's victory, Mercyhurst is now 4-0 all-time against Lake Erie. The Lakers – a 12-6 team a year ago – have posted a won-loss record over .500 in every season since 2006. … LEC's nine ground balls matched a season-low. The Storm had garnered an average of 16 grounders over its previous three games. … Hanu Abu-Kwiek has scored in every game this season and leads the team with 11 goals on the year. Her netfinder on Wednesday marked the 88th of her career.