Three Merrimack Spring Squads Nationally Ranked as Season Kicks Off

Merrimack boasts three nationally-ranked teams heading into the spring season. The men’s lacrosse team is ranked #8 in the Inside Lacrosse magazine preseason poll. The women’s lacrosse team earned a #12 national ranking in the IWLCA preseason poll while the softball team starts the year ranked #25 in the NFCA preseason poll.

The Merrimack men’s lacrosse team reached the Northeast-10 Tournament finals for the third-straight season. The Warriors posted an 11-6 overall record with a 6-4 mark in the league last spring.

This season, four players were named Preseason All-Americans by Inside Lacrosse. Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT) was the lone defender from the Northeast-10 while Nick Maggio (Winchester, MA) was one of just two faceoff-specialist to earn the distinction.

The Warriors open the 2012 slate on the road at Dominican (NY) March 6.

The Merrimack women’s lacrosse team advanced to the semifinals of the Northeast-10 Tournament before falling to eventual-national champion Adelphi. The Warriors went 12-7 on the season and 8-4 in conference play a year ago.

Merrimack returns three All-Conference honorees including goaltender Inna Hedden (Woodbine, MD). Hedden set the program record for most wins in a season with 12 and ranked third all-time with 172 saves in 2011.

The Warriors first game of the season is scheduled for March 10, a home contest against Saint Anselm.

Under first-year head coach Jill Karwoski, the Merrimack softball team will aim to make its 12th trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Warriors reached the NCAA East Super Regional last year after claiming the East Region 1 title as the No. 8 seed. Last spring, Merrimack advanced to the final series of the Northeast-10 Tournament.

The Warriors return five all-conference players from last season, including the 2011 Northeast-10 Pitcher of the Year, Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, MA). Deardorff won 23 contests in the pitcher’s circle last year and racked up a program-best 159 strikeouts.

Merrimack finished the 2011 season with a 31-23 overall record and a 20-10 mark in the Northeast-10 Conference.

The Warriors kick off the 2012 slate March 16 against East Stroudsburg and Hillsdale.

The Merrimack men’s tennis team will look to defend its Northeast-10 Conference regular season title after capturing a share of the program’s first ever regular season crown last spring. The Warriors sported a 10-1 record in the Northeast-10 Conference and a 17-6 overall mark.

Merrimack reached the NCAA Tournament last spring and suffered a 5-4 loss to Philadelphia in the first round. The Warriors head into spring action with a 3-1 overall record and a 1-0 league mark.

The Merrimack women’s tennis team garnered an 8-10 overall record last spring with an 8-5 mark in league matches. The Warriors reached the Northeast-10 Tournament and endured a 5-1 loss in the opening round at Adelphi. Merrimack posted a 3-2 record this fall while going 2-0 in league contests.

The Merrimack tennis teams will open the spring season with a road match at Saint Michael’s February 25.

The Warriors’ baseball team is the first Merrimack spring squad to take the field this spring, opening the schedule February 18 with a doubleheader against Molloy at Big Rock Stadium in Morehead City, NC.

The Warriors’ outdoor track and field squads begin the spring at the Northeastern Spring Open April 7. Last season, the women’s team finished eighth at the Northeast-10 Championships while the men claimed ninth.

Continuing their first years of competition, the Merrimack crew and golf teams head into the spring after successful fall campaigns. The Warriors’ golf team will open the spring slate April 8 at the Purple Eagle Invitational hosted by Niagara University. The Merrimack crew team will host its first-ever home event April 7, the Merrimack Regatta.