NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #4 Merrimack men's lacrosse team won their eighth straight game of the season on Saturday afternoon as they downed the Pace Setters by the score of 13-6. Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) put on a show for the home fans at Martone-Mejail Field as he finished with his second seven point performance of the season, four goals and three assists.
Merrimack (8-1, 7-0 NE-10) will hit the road on Wednesday for a conference game with the Saint Anselm Hawks at 7 p.m.
The difference in the game was the first 30 minutes of action as the Warriors dominated the Setters, taking an 8-1 lead into the locker room. The Warriors outshot the Setters 25-7 in the opening half while also winning 8-of-10 faceoffs.
The Warriors had five players' record multi-point games on Saturday as Lunney led the way with seven points, four goals and a team-high three assists. Kyle Guilbert (Walpole, Mass.) and Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) both finished with two goals and two assists to go along with four ground balls. Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) played well once again, scoring three straight goals to close out the first half and scooping up tree ground balls. Freshman Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) had his best game of his young career as he finished with a goal and three assists in the victory.
Lunney opened up the scoring for the Warriors less than a minute into action as he buried his team-leading 29th goal after a nice assist from Shand. After a Setters goal tied the score at one, Lunney and Shand scored goals just three minutes apart to give Merrimack the 3-1 lead after one quarter.
Merrimack started the second quarter with two quick Lunney goals, less than 20 seconds apart from one another to make the score 5-1 in favor of the home team. Melaugh took over offensively for the Warriors, scoring three goals in 25 seconds to give the Warriors control of the game at half, 8-1. Melaugh's second tally was his team-leading 10th man up goal of the season.
The Setters opened up the second half of play with two quick goals to force a Merrimack timeout and making the score 8-3 in favor of the Warriors. Following the Merrimack timeout, Towler and Ryan Poirier (Warwick, RI) scored back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart. Lunney picked up the assist on both goals.
After a Matthew Cossidente goal for the Setters made the score 10-4, Guilbert scored a lunging shot with less than a second to play in the third quarter after a perfect pass from Shand from behind the net. Guilbert scored his fifth goal of the season just over a minute into the fourth quarter to extend the Warriors lead.
The Setters were able to put two more goals past Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT) before Shand finished off the scoring with his 18th goal of the season after a pass from Towler.
Faceoff specialist Patrick Coskren (Norwood, Mass.) moved into fifth place on the Warriors all-time ground ball chart on Saturday after his 15 ground ball performance. Coskren has scooped up 143 ground balls in his career. For the game, Coskren won 18-of-21 faceoff's, his best faceoff performance of the season.
For the game, Merrimack outshot their opponents 47-22 while they also finished the game going a perfect 13-for-13 on their clearing attempts. Merrimack won 19-of-22 faceoff's while also leading the Setters in ground balls, 50-30.
Defensively, Merrimack was led by junior Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) who caused a team-high two turnovers and scooped up four ground balls on the afternoon. Reagan was solid between the pipes once again for the Warriors as he finished with nine saves and also scooped up five ground balls in his eighth win of the season.