NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #6 Merrimack men's lacrosse team is prepared to take on conference foe Adelphi on Friday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals. The Warriors enter the contest with a 12-2 overall record and the #2 seed while the Panthers enter with a 13-2 overall record and are the #3 seed.
The Warriors opened up the 2012 season with seven consecutive wins to mark the longest streak to open a season since the 2009 campaign. After back-to-back loss in the beginning of April the Warriors ripped off five straight wins to close out the regular season.
Earlier this season, Merrimack defeated the Panthers by the score of 12-8 in front of a capacity crowd at Martone-Mejail Field. Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) led the Warriors with two goals and three assists on the afternoon to avenge a loss to Adelphi in the 2011 Northeast-10 Conference Championship game. The Warriors outscored the Panthers 6-1 in the second period to secure the victory in a top-five battle.
Melaugh was named Northeast-10 Player of the Year after racking up 38 goals, which is good for second in the conference, and 51 points, good for fourth in the conference, in only 11 games. First-team all-conference member Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) closed out his impressive regular season leading the conference in goals with 41 and ranked third in points with 52.
The Warriors defense has been solid all year long causing a conference-high 181 turnovers. One of the top defenders in the league, Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT), a first-team all-conference member, leads the Warriors with 39 caused turnovers and has 29 ground balls. His 122 career groundballs currently ranks him seventh in school history. Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.), a second-team all-conference member, has started all 14 games while ranking third on the Warriors in caused turnovers with 19 and fifth on the team with 34 groundballs. Freshman Brandon Waiter (Westport, CT) has stepped in nicely on defense and caused 27 turnovers, second on the team, and racked up 36 ground balls, ranking him fourth on the Warriors. Fellow freshman Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI) stepped in as the number one goalie posting a 12-2 record and 7.55 goals per contest which is good for fifth in the NE-10.
The Panthers enter the contest riding a seven game winning streak after defeating the Bentley Falcons on Tuesday afternoon in the Northeast-10 quarterfinals by the score of 6-4. The Panthers suffered just two losses on the year, falling to Merrimack and Le Moyne.
Adelphi is paced offensively by senior Joe Vitale who led the conference in points during the regular season with 63 points. Danny Blau is second on the team in scoring with 42 points including 22 goals. Senior Goalie Eric Janssen has compiled a 13-2 record while allowing 5.49 goals against per contest which is good for second in the NE-10.
The semifinal matchup will get under way at 4:00 p.m. on Friday at Martone-Mejail Field. The winner will move on to the NE-10 Conference championship game to face the winner of the Le Moyne vs. Saint Michael's game. The Warriors will need to win both the semifinal and the championship game in order to be considered for the NCAA tournament.
Tickets will be on sale for $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children and $1 for students with valid NE-10 ID.