NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Visiting Southern New Hampshire, the No. 18 team in the country and the sixth seed in the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship, rallied from a three-goal deficit and went ahead by as many as two with about 20 minutes to play, but the No. 2 and third-seeded Merrimack College men's lacrosse team denied the upset attempt by scoring seven of the game's final nine goals to post a 13-10 victory over the Penmen and advance to Friday's NE10 Semifinal at second-seeded Le Moyne.
Score: Merrimack 13, Southern N.H. 10
Records: #1 Merrimack (13-2, 9-2 NE10) | #18 Southern N.H. (9-6, 6-5 NE10)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.
2017 NE-10 Men's Lacrosse Championship Schedule
Tuesday, May 2nd - First Round
Game 1: #3 Merrimack def. #6 SNHU, 13-10
Game 2: #4 Pace def. #5 Saint Anselm, 11-10 (F/OT)
Friday, May 5th - Semifinals
Game 3: #4 Pace at #1 Adelphi, 7:00 pm
Game 4: #3 Merrimack at #2 Le Moyne, 11:00 am
Sunday, May 7th - Championship at Highest Remaining Seed
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner – 1:00 p.m. at Higher Seed
- Merrimack got off to a hot start with two goals in a five-minute span, but Southern New Hampshire drew even with the next two tallies. The hosts would found the twine with eight seconds left in the half to give the Warriors the lead back heading to the second.
- The Penmen would score the second stanza's first goal, but the Warriors would answer with three straight to build a three-goal lead (6-3), with one of those scores coming on a man-up opportunity. SNHU would get one late in the half to pull within two (6-4) at the midpoint.
- The visitors would run their goal streak to five straight after netting the first four of the third quarter to take their largest lead of the game at 8-6 with just under six minutes to play in the frame. Merrimack, however, would answer with two goals in the final minute to even things up at 8-all heading to the final quarter.
- SNHU would take one last lead at the 12:16 mark of the fourth, but Merrimack would then net the next four to steal the momentum back and tie their largest lead of the night (12-9) with exactly six minutes on the clock. The Penmen would only get as close as two the rest of the way before the Warriors iced it with one last marker in the final minute.
Highlights and Notables
- Merrimack has now advanced to 13 straight NE10 Championship Semifinals and will be making its 18th appearance in the semifinal round of the league tournament overall – trailing only Le Moyne's 20 appearances.
- Winners of eight straight, Merrimack now has its longest unbeaten streak since going nine straight without a loss from March 26-May 8, 2016.
- Freshman Charlie Bertrand (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and senior Max Allen (West Caldwell, N.J.) both had four-point nights with two goals and two assist apiece, while senior Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) secured Merrimack's only hat trick performance.
- Senior John Bassett (Clifton Park, N.Y.) had two huge goals to account for Merrimack's other multi-goal performer, while sophomore Seamus Ford (Walpole, Mass.) had three points on a goal and a career-high-tying two assists.
- Junior Eric Coburn (Londonderry, N.H.) wound up moving to the X midway through the game and was an immediate factor, winning a career-high eight faceoffs to help neutralize the Penmen on the draw.
- Short stick defense midfielder Hunter Schmell (Woodstock, Vt.) was extremely effective on the defensive end, setting a new personal best with three caused turnovers while also adding an insurance goal late in the contest.
- Sophomore Edward Hellier (South Portland, Maine) was fantastic between the pipes, setting a new career-high with 15 saves and even made a bid for a goal early on in the contest.
Team Leaders (MC // SNH)
- Points: Allen/Bertrand (4) // Corey Cairo (4)
- Goals: Towler (3) // Cairo (4)
- Assists: Three players (2) // Two players (2)
- Faceoffs: Blake Boudreau (8-of-12) / Eric Coburn (8-of-11) // Andrew Liu (9-of-25)
- Ground Balls: Four players (4) // Two players (5)
- Caused Turnovers: Schmell (3) // Will Thompson (3)
- Saves: Hellier (15) // Tyler Walsh (15)
Team Comparisons (MC // SNH)
- EMO: 2-5 // 1-2
- Shot Attempts/SOG: 52/28 // 45/25
- Ground Balls: 44 // 32
- Clears: 25-28 // 21-26
- Turnovers: 17 // 15
Merrimack will look to snap a six-game losing streak against Le Moyne when it visits the Dolphins for the NE10 Championship Semifinal on Friday (May 5) at 11 a.m. The Warriors' last win against Le Moyne was, coincidentally enough, in the semifinal round of the league tournament three years ago.