HAMPTON —She watched the final 2 minutes and 37 seconds of the game from a chair adjacent to the scorer’s table due to a penalty called against her, but Winnacunnet senior Abby Merrill still was able to smile after Friday’s 2-0 win over Exeter.

“It’s always great playing Exeter,” said Merrill, a four-year member of the Winnacunnet varsity who will take her field hockey skills to Division I Applachian State next fall. “This rivalry has been incredible.”

Courtney Ingham’s unassisted goal with 18:57 left in the first half put Winnacunnet on the board and Merrill’s goal gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead with 7:18 remaining until intermission.

“I made a cut, pulled around a defender and I did what I do best, which is a reverse chip and I just sweeped it right in,” Merrill said. “It felt great to get it in there against our rival.”

It was the third straight year that Merrill has scored a goal against Exeter goalie Katie Pigsley.

“I was focused on getting pumped up during warmups because I knew I wanted to score against (Pigsley) and I knew I wanted the team to get the win again," Merrill said. "I’ve played against (Pigsley) all these years; she’s a really great keeper and this is my third straight year I’ve scored off her. I wanted to keep it going.”

Winnacunnet sophomore Nikki Treadwell did not face a shot in 60 minutes as the Warriors outshot Exeter 10-0 and had a 12-4 advantage on penalty corners.

“We were upbeat from the start,” Winnacunnet coach Heidi Hand said. “It was good to finish off strong, and we had a lot of support. It was good to get a win with a lot of our fans here.”

It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Warriors.

“We came out focused today and the girls came out right away after the pep really fired up,” Hand said. “I think the girls brought a lot of intensity.”

Exeter dropped to 3-5-1 on the season.

“We’ve been having trouble all season long with our scoring,” Exeter coach Deb Grott said. “Defensively, we are OK. We have a great goalie (Pigsley) out there, but we have a hard time getting that ball in the net. I thought we played a good game against them in the body of the field, and it’s always a good game when Winnacunnet and Exeter play.”

Winnacunnet has won the last two Division I state championships and Merrill has her eyes set on a third.

“We have some new girls, but they’ve stepped up and filled the spots we lost,” Merrill said. “It’s bittersweet that it’s my senior year, but it’s awesome that we still have a great team, that we’re (undefeated) and we want to keep it going all the way. We are ready for the next couple of weeks ahead of us before we go into the postseason.”