SYRACUSE, NY – The #6 Merrimack men's lacrosse team was defeated on Sunday afternoon in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship game by the #2 Le Moyne Dolphins by the score of 10-7. With the loss the Warriors drop to 13-3 on the season while the Dolphins improve to 17-0.
"We had a hard fought game today," said head coach Mike Morgan. "We battled all afternoon but we couldn't get the big goal towards the end. We responded to all of their runs with goals of our own but it wasn't enough against a good Le Moyne team."
The Warriors offense was led by junior Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) who finished the game with a team-high three goals on nine shots and four ground balls. Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) finished the game with one goal as did Greg Fallon (North Kingstown, RI) and Kyle Guilbert (Walpole, Mass.).
The Warriors were denied their second conference championship in four years on Sunday as the Dolphins scored two goals in the final two minutes to pick up the victory.
The Warriors struck first just over four minutes into the game as the NE-10 Player of the Year, Melaugh, beat the Le Moyne goalie to take the 1-0 lead with 10:39 showing on the clock. The Dolphins responded less than a minute later as Nick Blumer found the back of the net to tie the game at one.
Following the Blumer goal, the Dolphins ripped off four straight goals to take the 5-1 lead into the locker room.
The Dolphins held the 18-12 edge in shots in the opening half while the warriors went 6-7 on clearing attempts. The sloppy first half wrapped up with the Dolphins turning the ball over 11 times and the Warriors eight times.
Lunney opened up the third period with his 45th goal of the season as he used a great individual move to get open for a shot that beat Le Moyne goalie Jeff White. The Dolphins responded quickly with a goal of their own increasing their lead to four at 6-2.
Melaugh buried his second goal of the game with 2:11 remaining in the third to bring the Warriors within three once again at 6-3.
The Warriors opened up the fourth quarter with consecutive goals as Nick Maggio (Winchester, Mass.) won consecutive face offs. Guilbert scored the first goal of the period as he used a diving effort to beat the goalie, his 17th goal of the season. DJ Brown (Huntington, NY) found the back of the net at the 13:10 mark to bring the Warriors within one at 6-5.
Le Moyne wasted no time to answer the Warriors 2-0 run with a goal of their own as Blumer scored his second of the day to make the score 7-5. Fallon responded with a goal of his own just over three minutes later to make the score 7-6 with 6:32 remaining in the game.
Tyler Sennett found the back of the net to give the Dolphins the 8-6 lead but Melaugh came back with a goal of his own to cut the Le Moyne lead to one at 8-7.
The Warriors were unable to tie the score up as the Dolphins buried the final two goals of the game, giving them the 10-7 victory.
Merrimack held the 34-24 advantage in shots for the game and were successful on 11 of 12 clearing attempts. The Warriors scooped up 27 ground balls compared to the Dolphins 18 on the afternoon. The Warriors won nine face offs while the Dolphins picked up 12 face off victories.
Maggio finished off the game with nine face off victories and scooped up a team-high six ground balls. Brad Duhaime (Salem, Mass.) caused a team-high three turnovers and scooped up two groundballs in the defeat.
With the loss the Warriors will most likely not receive a bid to the NCAA lacrosse tournament with the selection show airing tonight at 7 p.m. at ncaa.com.