NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #4 Merrimack Warriors men's lacrosse team defeated the #5 Adelphi Panthers on Saturday afternoon by the score of 12-8 in front of a packed Martone-Mejail Field. Junior Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) led the way for the Warriors scoring two goals and adding three assists to avenge the Warriors loss last season to the Panthers in the Northeast-10 Conference championship game.
"That was a hard fought victory today," said head coach Mike Morgan. "I thought the atmosphere was great with the big crowd showing their support for our guys. We cleaned up our defense down the stretch and hit big shots when we needed to, to pick up this big victory. It was a great overall team win for us and now we set our focus on Wednesday for Saint Michael's."
All-American Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) finished the game with two goals and an assist as did junior Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY). Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) scored two goals and Paul Jones (Guilderland, NY) assisted on two other Warrior goals.
The Warriors outscored the Panthers 6-1 in the second period leading to the victory.
The Panthers would strike first less than four minutes into the game as Kieran Riegel beat Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI) stick side to give Adelphi the early advantage. The Panthers would increase the score to 2-0 as Michael Rossi found the back of the net.
The Warriors would respond to the Rossi goal just over a minute later as DJ Brown (Huntington, NY) ripped a shot past the Adelphi goalie after a Melaugh pass, making the score 2-1 in favor of Adelphi. Melaugh would tie the game up himself a minute later as he used a great individual move to get free in front for the goal.
Joe Celano would give the Panthers the 3-2 lead to close out the first period of play as he beat Green for his first goal of the day.
The Warriors would open up the second period with a man up marker by Lunney after another Melaugh pass. Shand would find the back of the net less than 30 seconds later giving the Warriors the 4-3 lead. Merrimack would score three more goals during the stretch to give them the 7-3 lead. The three goals were scored by Shand, Paul Gallagher (Simsbury, CT) and Perdie. The Gallagher marker was his first career goal as a Warrior.
Adelphi would end the 5-0 scoring run for the Warriors with a marker of their own before Melaugh put one home with two seconds remaining in the first half to give the Warriors the 8-4 lead heading into the locker room.
The Warriors dominated the stat sheet in the opening half as they outshot the Panthers 27-8 and went 10-13 on faceoff attempts. The Warriors scooped up 23 groundballs and were 9-10 on clearing attempts in the first half of action.
The Panthers would open up the third period with a man up tally by Danny Blau to make the score 8-5 in favor of the Warriors. Freshman Kyle Guilbert (Walpole, Mass.) would score the only goal of the third period for the Warriors as he took a Perdie pass and scored a diving goal to make the score 9-5. Rossi would end the third period with a goal for the Panthers, cutting the Warriors lead to three heading into the final period.
Perdie would find the back of the net less than four minutes into the final period as Jones found him open in front of the net. Adelphi would score on their very next shot attempt as Shane Wynn put one past Morgan.
Lunney and Celano would trade goals for either team making the score 11-8 with just over five minutes remaining in the game. With 3:59 showing on the clock Brandon Waiter (Westport, CT) would put the Panthers away with his first goal of the season as he fired one past the Adelphi goalie after a Lunney pass led his straight to the net.
The Warriors ran the final minute and a half off the game clock to preserve the victory 12-8.
Defensively Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT) and Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) were forces all afternoon long, causing eight Adelphi turnovers between them. Schielke finished off his impressive game with six caused turnovers and four groundballs. Holland closed out the game with two caused turnovers and four groundballs for the Warriors. Junior Brad Duhaime (Salem, Mass.) picked up his first assist of the season on the Gallagher tally in the first half.
Green continued his impressive freshman season improving to 6-0 on the season, making five saves for the Warriors including a huge save late in the game as an Adelphi attacker was on the doorstep to try and cut the Merrimack lead to two.
Merrimack (6-0) will stay at Martone-Mejail field for a conference matchup with Saint Michael's on Wednesday April 4 at 4 pm. The 6-0 start marks the best start to a season since the 2009 season when the Warriors went 9-0 to open up.