FOXBORO, MA – The #6 Merrimack men's lacrosse team defeated the Bentley Falcons on Saturday afternoon by the score of 12-11 at the New England Lacrosse Classic held at Gillette Stadium in front of 1,850 fans. Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) netted his second game-winning goal in as many games, scoring with 15 seconds to play in the game.
The Warriors picked up the victory over the Falcons in their second appearance at Gillette Stadium, marking the first school to ever appear at Gillette on two occasions.
Melaugh led all players on the afternoon with five goals and one assist, including the game-winner. Paul Jones (Guilderland, NY) continued to rack up the assists as he recorded a game-high four assists. Leading scorer Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) scored twice and picked up one assist while Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) scored twice.
Trailing for the first time in the game with 5:47 remaining in the game, Perdie connected on the game-tying goal on a great individual move. With the time ticking away, Melaugh took over and buried his second consecutive game-winning marker as he beat the goalie under the crossbar.
Jones opened the scoring for the Warriors as he received a nice feed from Lunney and buried the shot with 9:44 showing on the first period clock. The Warriors recorded the next three goals as Melaugh scored twice and Lunney scored once, making the score 4-0 in favor of Merrimack.
Bentley found the back of the net to make the game 4-1 after one period of play. The Falcons scored the first goal of the second period before Lunney and Perdie scored back-to-back goals to make the score 6-2.
Bentley recorded the final two goals of the opening half making the score 6-4 in favor of Merrimack. The Falcons held the 19-11 advantage in shots in the opening half but the Warriors went 9-11 on clearing attempts.
DJ Brown (Huntington, NY) started off the second half with his first tally of the game after a nice pass from Jones to extend the Warriors lead to three. Bentley however would respond with a 3-0 scoring run to level the score at seven.
The Warriors went on a 3-1 scoring run to close out the third period as freshman Kyle Guilbert (Walpole, Mass.) found the back of the net to make the score 10-8 in favor of Merrimack.
Bentley connected on the first three goals of the fourth period to take their first lead of the contest with 5:47 remaining in the game as Brendan Grant scored twice. The junior class however would not let the Warriors lose. Perdie knotted the game at 11 just over a minute later as he made a great play to get himself open in front.
With the game tied and under a minute to go and pressure mounting, the Warriors handed the ball over to Melaugh, who knew exactly what to do with the ball. Melaugh buried his very next shot with 15 seconds showing on the game clock to give the Warriors the 12-11 victory at Gillette.
Brandon Waiter (Staples, CT) continued his steady defensive play as he forced two turnovers, scooped up three groundballs and recorded his first assist of the season. Steve Sousa (Wilmington, Mass.) played well off the bench for the Warriors causing a team-high three turnovers and scooping up two groundballs. Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI) picked up his 10th win of the season as he made 13 saves.
The Warriors were outshot 36-32 for the day but they were 15-18 on clearing attempts. The Warriors also won 15-27 faceoffs as Nick Maggio (Winchester, Mass.) went 8-11 and scooped up six groundballs. The Warriors caused 18 Bentley turnovers on the afternoon.
With the victory over Bentley on Saturday the Warriors will receive at least a four seed for the upcoming Northeast-10 playoffs.
Merrimack (10-2, 6-2 NE-10) will be in action again tomorrow as they will travel to pace for a 4:00 pm game against the Setters.