SPRINGFIELD, MA – Behind a seven-point performance from senior captain Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ), the #7 Merrimack men's lacrosse team defeated the AIC Yellow Jackets on the road by the score of 15-4 on Saturday afternoon. Lunney finished off his impressive game with a season-high five goals and two assists.
The Merrimack defense helped preserve the victory as they held the Yellow Jackets without a goal for a 31 minute stretch between the second and fourth periods. For the game, the Merrimack defense forced 22 AIC turnovers, a season-high.
Merrimack (2-1, 1-0 NE-10) will host Northeast-10 Conference rival #1 Le Moyne on Tuesday March 26 at 4 p.m. at Martone-Mejail Field. Merrimack held a 6-0 record at home last season.
The turning point of the contest came early in the second period with the score knotted at 2-2. Lunney decided to take over the game as he scored three straight goals in just over two minutes of action including two goals within 20 seconds of one another. Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) also picked up his seventh goal of the season to cap off the 4-0 scoring run for the Warriors and to give them the 6-2 lead which they would never give up.
The Warriors had five players record at least two points in the victory on Saturday, led by Lunney who racked up a season-high seven. Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) was impressive for the Warriors with three goals and a assist while Melaugh and Paul Jones (Guilderland, NY) each scored two goals and one assist. Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) recorded two assists while faceoff man, Patrick Coskren (Norwood, Mass.) owned the faceoff circle going 10-for-14 in his chances and scooping up eight ground balls and recording an assist.
Perdie opened up the scoring quick for the Warriors as he recorded his first of the game just a minute into action and then four minutes later he gave the Warriors the early 2-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets settled down for the rest of the period as they closed out the first with back-to-back goals to make the score 2-2 after 15 minutes of action.
Lunney took over in the start of the second as he finished off three straight goals before the Yellow Jackets broke the 4-0 run, to make the score 6-3 with 3:35 remaining in the half. Perdie didn't waste much time to give the Warriors their four goal lead back as he fired one past the AIC goalie after a nice feed from Lunney, giving Merrimack the 7-3 halftime lead.
After dominating the first half of play, outshooting the Yellow Jackets 27-7, Merrimack came out strong in the third period and put the game out of reach as they scored three straight unanswered goals, making the score 10-3. Jones opened the third period scoring with a man up goal after a nice pass from Melaugh, followed by another Lunney tally and a man up goal from Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.).
The Warriors continued to pour it on in the fourth as Melaugh tallied his second goal of the game after a nice assist from Lunney, just two minutes into action in the final frame. Lunney picked up his fifth goal and seventh point of the contest a few minutes later as he finished on the man up chance. Brett Axelson (Cazenovia, NY) gave Merrimack the 10 goal advantage with his first goal of the game with the assist going to Trevor Gallagher (Simsbury, CT), his first career point.
Ryan Poirier (Warwick, RI) and Jones closed out the scoring for the Warriors, to give Merrimack the 15-4 win. The Poirier tally marked the first goal of his career.
For the game, Merrimack outshot their opponents 66-16 for the game, their highest shot output of the young season. The Warriors man up offense was dominant on Saturday, finishing the game going 5-for-8 in their chances.
Defensively, Merrimack was led by junior Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) who finished with a team-high three ground balls while Towler also scooped up three ground balls to go along with a goal and a assist. Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT) was solid in net for the Warriors as he only allowed three goals in 45 minutes of action while making four saves. Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI) saw his first action of the season in the net in the fourth period, making one save and allowing one goal.