NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #6 Merrimack men's lacrosse team defeated the #5 Adelphi Panthers by the score of 13-12 in front of the home fans at Martone-Mejail Field on Friday night. With the win the Warriors will advance to their fourth straight Northeast-10 Conference Championship game on Sunday, including their third against Le Moyne.
With the win, the Warriors will travel to Syracuse, New York to take on the #2 Le Moyne Dolphins in the NE-10 Conference Championship game on Sunday, May 6 at 12:00 p.m. The Dolphins defeated the Saint Michael's Purple Knights on Friday afternoon to improve to 16-0 on the season and advance to the Championship game.
"Today was a very big team win," said head coach Mike Morgan. "We stopped their runs and put together a few of our own. Im sure everyone is excited to be heading back up to Le Moyne for the rematch."
The conference's leading goal scorer, Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ), led the Warriors on the afternoon with a team-high three goals and three assists. Northeast-10 player of the Year, Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.), finished off his impressive game with three goals on six shots. Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) finished with two goals and an assist while Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT) led the Warriors defense with five caused turnovers and five ground balls.
The Warriors used a 4-0 scoring run to open up the fourth period to seal the game as Nick Maggio (Winchester, Mass.) won the opening faceoff, raced down the field and buried his first goal of the season just eight second into the period. Melaugh had the next goal and Lunney closed out the Warriors scoring with two straight goals including the eventual game-winning goal.
Melaugh opened up the scoring for the Warriors less than two minutes into the first period as he took a Paul Jones (Guilderland, NY) pass and beat the Adelphi goalie. Jones extended the Merrimack lead to two just over a minute later as Lunney found him cutting down the middle for the easy goal.
Adelphi ended the Warrior early run with a goal of their own as Kieran Riegel beat freshman Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI) for his first of the game. Jordan Tiger (Ridgefield, CT) wasted no time answering the Panther goal with a goal of his own after a perfect pass from DJ Brown (Huntington, NY). Joe Celano ended the first period with another marker for the visiting team, making the score 3-2 in favor of Merrimack after one period of play.
Brown opened up the second period finding the back of the net after a great individual play. The Panthers however responded quickly with a 3-0 scoring run, giving Adelphi their first lead of the game at 5-4.
The Warriors closed out the half on a 3-0 scoring run of their own as Perdie found the back of the net twice and Melaugh buried his second of the game to give Merrimack the 7-5 lead.
The Warriors outshot the Panthers 18-16 through the first 30 minutes of action and went 11-12 on clearing opportunities. Merrimack and Adelphi each won seven faceoff's and the turnover battle was nearly even as the Warriors committed 10 and the Panthers committed nine.
The Panthers opened up the second half with three straight goals to regain the lead 8-7 with 11:51 remaining in the third period. Greg Fallon (North Kingstown, RI) tied the game shortly after as he found himself wide open for a shot, beating the Adelphi goalie high stick side, making the score 8-8.
Lunney gave the Warriors the 9-8 advantage just over a minute later but the Panthers closed out the third with two straight goals to cling to the 10-9 lead.
Maggio took things into his own hands to open up the fourth period as he won the faceoff clean, walked right in on goal and buried his first goal of the season, tying the game at 10. Melaugh gave Merrimack the lead under two minutes later as he took a perfect Lunney pass and buried his shot. Lunney closed out the Warriors 4-0 scoring run with two straight goals to give him three on the afternoon, extending the lead to 13-10.
The Panthers tried to claw themselves back into the game scoring the final two goals of the game but Green stood tall in net, securing the Warriors victory, 13-12.
Defensively Brandon Waiter (Westport, CT), a Northeast-10 all-rookie team member, played solid all afternoon scooping up a game-high seven ground balls and forcing two Adelphi turnovers. Maggio finished his impressive game, winning 16 of 28 faceoff's while adding his first goal of the season. Jones and Tiger each finished the game with a goal and an assist in the victory. Green continued his strong play finishing the game with 14 saves.
For the game, Merrimack held the slim advantage in shots firing 37 compared to the Panthers 34. Merrimack scooped up 40 ground balls and went 14-19 on clearing attempts. The Warriors went16-28 on faceoff attempts and forced 17 Panther turnovers.