NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The #7 Merrimack men's lacrosse clinched their first-ever Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season title on Senior Day at Martone-Mejail Field on Saturday as the Warriors defeated the Assumption Greyhounds by the score of 16-11. The Warriors will share the title with conference rival, Adelphi.
"It was a nice win today and obviously a great achievement for our team winning the Northeast-10 Conference regular season title," stated head coach Mike Morgan. "It's such a great league and to come out on top is never easy. The team has worked hard since the fall and it's certainly something they deserve. For the seniors on Senior Day it is great for them now to have achieved a tournament Championship as well as a regular season Championship."
The star of the day for the Warriors on Senior Day was senior Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) who tied a school-record with nine goals in only three quarters of action. Melaugh also added two assists to give him 11 points on the afternoon, third most in a game in school history.
The Merrimack win coupled with a Saint Michael's loss secured Merrimack in the two seed for the upcoming NE-10 Championships and a first round bye into the semifinal round. Merrimack 11-2 (10-1 NE-10) will play host to the winner of #3 Le Moyne and #6 Saint Anselm on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Merrimack offensive attack was led by the career-high nine goals and two assists from Melaugh while Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) continued his strong play down the stretch with a season-best five assists and one goal. Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) finished off his senior day with three goals in the title clinching victory. Patrick Coskren (Norwood, Mass.) finished off his best faceoff day of his career going 22-for-28 while also scooping up a career-best 21 ground balls.
Merrimack jumped out quick on the Greyhounds on Saturday as they scored the first 10 goals of the game including six straight goals by Melaugh from the 7:15 mark of the first quarter until 14:52 remaining in the second, the quickest six goals scored by one player in school history.
Perdie also racked up two goals while Shand added one during the 10-0 run to open the game for the home, Warriors. Over the final 7:20 of the opening half, the Greyhounds outscored the Warriors 3-2 as Ryan Hunt (Scarborough, ME) scored his first goal of the season after a nice feed from Trevor Gallagher (Simsbury, CT). The second Warrior goal was arguably the best goal of the season as Perdie scored a behind-the-back goal in the top left corner of the net to give Merrimack the 12-3 halftime lead.
The Greyhounds came out strong in the third as they scored three straight goals on backup goalie Morgan Green (Portsmouth, RI). Melaugh put an end to the run with his eighth goal of the game after a pretty feed from Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) and then Paul Jones (Guilderland, NY) made the score 14-6 just over a minute later.
Garrett Smith and Melaugh traded goals in the final 1:30 of the third quarter to make the score 15-7 in favor of the Warriors. Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) picked up his 14th assist of the season on Melaugh's record-tying goal.
Merrimack was outscored 4-1 in the final 15 minutes of action but the Warriors still held on for the 16-11 victory. James Caruso (Needham, Mass.) scored his first career goal, marking the final goal of the game for Merrimack after a nice pass from DJ Brown (Huntington, NY).
For the game, Merrimack held the advantage in almost every category as they outshot the Greyhounds 39-29 while also holding the 50-38 advantage in ground balls. As a team, Merrimack finished the game going 23-for-31 on faceoff's while also finishing going 3-for-9 on their man up chances.
Defensively, Merrimack was led by Brandon Waiter (Westport, CT) once again as he finished with a team-high three caused turnovers and three ground balls while Brad Duhaime (Salem, Mass.) finished with four ground balls and two forced turnovers on his senior day. Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT) continued his steady play for the Warriors between the pipes, allowing only three goals during 30 minutes of action.