March 16, 2013

#7 Men’s Lacrosse Pulls Off Big Road Victory Over Lake Erie, 11-10

PAINSVILLE, Ohio – The #7 Merrimack men's lacrosse team pulled out a resilient road victory over the Lake Erie Storm on Saturday night by the score of 11-10. Sophomore Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) scored the game-winning goal for the Warriors with 4:18 remaining in the game.

Merrimack (1-1, 0-0 NE-10) will travel to American International next Saturday for their conference opening game at 1 pm.

"We certainly had to dig deep and gut one out today," head coach Mike Morgan said afterward. "Erie is a solid team and we knew coming up into this environment this far away from home would be tough.

"This group is resilient and you have to win road games against good teams to be successful."

Shand gave the Warriors the two goal advantage, 11-9, with just 4:18 to play in the game but the Storm answered quickly with a goal to cut their deficit to one with 3:01 remaining. The Warriors played tough defensively and with 30 seconds to play, senior goalie Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT) came up with the save of the game to preserve the victory for Merrimack as he made a big stick save.

The Warriors outscored the Storm 5-2 in the fourth period including a 4-0 scoring run to open the period.

The Warriors were led offensively by Preseason Player of the Year, Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) who scored a team-high four goals and one assist in the Warriors first victory of the season. Shand finished off his game with two goals, including the game-winning goal, and one assist while Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) scored two goals and scooped up four ground balls. Patrick Coskren (Norwood, Mass.) fared better in the faceoff circle this week going 12-for-21 on his opportunities while scooping up a team-high eight ground balls.

The Storm were able to get on the board first just over a minute into play as Reagan Harding scored his first of two first period goals to give Lake Erie the 1-0 lead. It took over eight minutes for the Warriors to respond with the tying goal as Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) scored his first career goal.

Lake Erie finished off the first period with two straight goals before the Warriors opened the second with goals from Shand and Paul Gallagher (Simsbury, CT) to even the score at three with 9:07 to play in the half.

The next four minutes belong to the Storm as they scored three straight before Lunney found the back of the net for his first of the game, making the score 6-4 in favor of the home team at half.

The two teams traded two goals in the third period as Lunney and Brett Axelson (Cazenovia, NY) scored for the Warriors, giving Lake Erie the 8-6 lead after three periods.

The fourth opened with four straight goals by Melaugh and Lunney including two man up goals, giving Merrimack the 10-8 lead. After a Storm goal seconds after Melaugh's second of the game, Shand gave the Warriors the two goal advantage once again with what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

For the game, Merrimack went 2-for-5 on their man up opportunities while the Storm were held to 1-for-2 on their chances. The Warriors were outshot 40-36 for the game but they held the 12-10 advantage in faceoff wins.

Defensively, Merrimack was led by junior Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) who finished with a team-high three caused turnovers while Brandon Waiter (Westport, CT) continued his solid play with four ground balls in the victory.

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