NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #6 Merrimack men's lacrosse team will take on the Bentley Falcons on Saturday at 2:30 pm in the 3rd annual New England Lacrosse Classic being held at Gillette Stadium, home to the New England Patriots.
"It will be a great experience for our team, coaches, alumni and families involved with the program," said head coach Mike Morgan. "Having the opportunity to showcase the program on such a big stage is something that I know all of us are looking forward to on Saturday."
The Warriors are the first Division II school to play at Gillette Stadium on two occasions. They lost the inaugural game in Foxborough to the Bryant Bulldogs by the score of 7-5, on April 5, 2008.
With a victory on Saturday the Warriors will clinch a top-four seed for the Northeast-10 Conference playoffs.
"There isn't anyone on the roster from the 2008 team that played at Gillette vs Bryant other than myself," said Morgan. "So going into Saturday, this will be a new experience for all of the members of the team. It is a great honor to be selected for the second time and it shows how far our program has come over the past few years. The team has worked very hard and it is a great reward that the lacrosse community has recognized our level of play and picked us again to be part of this great event."
Tickets for the New England Lacrosse Classic can be purchased at the Volpe box office today before 4:00 pm or at www.ticketmaster.com at any time. Tickets may also be purchased tomorrow at the Gillette Stadium box office.
The Warriors enter the contest with the Falcons with a 9-2 record overall and a 5-2 conference mark. After starting the season 7-0, marking the best start since the 2009 season, the Warriors suffered two straight setbacks including a loss at #2 Le Moyne.
Merrimack has won two straight including a come-from-behind victory over the Saint Anselm Hawks on Tuesday, winning 11-10 in overtime as Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) put home the game-winning goal with 10 seconds remaining in the game.
Offensively the Warriors rank in the top half of the conference in many statistical categories including 2nd in goals per game (11.91), 1st in man-up goals (23) and 1st in shots.
The Warriors have received a spread out scoring attack this season as five Merrimack players, all underclassmen, have recorded at least 20 points on the season. Junior Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) is second in the conference in goals with 30 and leads the Warriors with 35 total points. Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) is the team's second leading scorer connecting on 15 goals and adding 15 assists. Sophomore Paul Jones (Guilderland, NY) leads the Warriors and ranks 5th in the Northeast-10 with 20 assists. Freshman Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) has made an immediate impact, starting all 10 games he has appeared in and ranking 2nd on the Warriors with 17 assists and 28 total points.
Defensively, the Warriors rank 1st in the conference in caused turnovers with 146, 4th in groundballs with 414 and 5th in goals against average with 7.58. All-American defender Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT) leads the conference in caused turnovers with 33, and he has also picked up 28 groundballs. Nick Maggio (Winchester, Mass.), the active leader in faceoffs won over all three collegiate divisions, ranks second in the conference in groundballs with 63, 3rd in faceoff wins with 102 and 2nd in faceoff percentage at 60.4 percent. Freshman goalie Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI) has started all 11 games for the Warriors, ranking 5th in the conference allowing 7.31 goals per game while posting a 9-2 overall record.
Bentley is playing at Gillette Stadium for the first time on Saturday. The Falcons enter the game with a 3-6 overall record and a 3-3 conference mark. Bentley will need a victory to keep its playoff hopes alive. J.D. Ayer leads the Falcons with 19 total points including a team-high 17 goals. Richard Travers has racked up a team-high nine assists to go along with nine goals. Between the pipes sophomore Brian Karl owns a 3-5 record while allowing 8.60 goals per contest.