Anyone who’s watched Clarkson this year is aware of the type of season forward Cayley Mercer is having. Her 17 goals and 17 assists in 22 games are good for eighth in the NCAA, one point ahead of Quinnipiac’s Taylar Cianfarano. When you delve into shot totals though, she’s off the charts.
As of Saturday January 9th, Mercer had tallied 148 shots on goal. Cianfarano was the next closest ECAC player at 90. Mercer has put up more shots than names such as Wisconsin’s Sarah Nurse (122), Boston College’s Alex Carpenter (114), or Minnesota’s Hannah Brandt (76). A lot more. She’s the only player in the NCAA who can even spot Kendall Coyne’s league-leading 183 off in the distance.
With her 34 points, Mercer is far ahead of anyone else in the ECAC except for Cianfarano. Princeton’s Karlie Lund is next closest with 27 and then Olivia Howe with 26. Howe’s name deserves a bit of an asterisk though…she’s one of Mercer’s linemates and 20 of her 26 points involved Mercer also getting on the scoresheet. After that you’d have to go all the way down the NCAA list to 27th place to find the next ECAC player, Melissa Samoskevich. (Samoskevich has spent time both playing with, and away from Cianfarano.)
Mercer’s production has been remarkably consistent as well. She has at least one point in all but three games this season. Two of those games, Harvard and Quinnipiac, none of the Knights had a point as they were shut out. Mercer has multi-point games in 12 of those 22 contests, including the last three and four of the last five.
Mercer’s line, which usually includes Olivia Howe and Geneviève Bannon, occupies the top three spots on the Golden Knights scoring chart. The only downside to Mercer’s strong play is that at times the team over-relies on her to generate chances. Veterans like senior Shannon MacAulay and sophomore Amanda Titus need to pick up the pace if the Knights want to make a deep NCAA tournament run.