VIVIAN, JONES POST HAT TRICKS AS WARRIORS' RALLY FALLS SHORT AT DOWLING WEDNESDAY
Links: Box Score
BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. – Trailing by three at the half, the eighth-ranked Merrimack College men's lacrosse team rallied all the way back and took a one-goal lead into the final quarter, but No. 6 Dowling stormed ahead with four tallies in the final frame, as the Warriors fell, 10-9, on the road in a showcase of two of the North Region's top teams on Wednesday afternoon.
Score: #6 Dowling 10, #8 Merrimack 9
Records: #8 Merrimack (3-2) | #6 Dowling (4-1)
Location: Golden Lions Field | Brookhaven, N.Y.
How It Happened
In a battle that pitted two of the top teams from the North Region, it was the sixth-ranked Golden Lions who emerged victorious on Wednesday after erasing a one-goal deficit with four scores in the final 15 minutes to hand the Warriors their first road loss of 2014.
With Merrimack on top by one (7-6) after three quarters, Dowling benefitted from a pair of extra-man opportunities potted a pair of man-up goals – both by Matt Crough – to tie and, subsequently, go ahead by one with just under 11 minutes to go.
Senior Paul Jones (Guilderland, N.Y.) buried his third tally of the day roughly 90 seconds later to draw both sides even, but Billy Richardson answered with 8:15 remaining to make it a 9-8 Dowling advantage.
Both sides would then play shutdown defense against one another over the next seven minutes, as neither Merrimack nor Dowling would find the twine again until the final minute of play.
With 44 seconds left in regulation, Richardson tallied a key insurance goal for the hosts that proved to be the game-winner; sophomore Ryan Poirier (Warwick, R.I.) brought the visitors to within one with a last-gasp marker, but it was too little, too late, as Merrimack was unable to generate a potential game-tying shot after winning the ensuing faceoff.
In the first half, Merrimack and Dowling went back and forth in the first quarter before the Golden Lions edged ahead with two more markers in the second to take a 5-2 lead into the locker room. Jones and sophomore Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) were the only two Warriors to score over the first 30 minutes while junior Morgan Green (Portsmouth, R.I.) turned away three shots in net.
Merrimack dominated the third quarter, outscoring Dowling, 5-1, highlighted by junior transfer Andrew Vivian (Slingerlands, N.Y.) going off for three straight tallies in a nearly three-minute span while both Jones and Souza bookended the period with goals of their own.
Inside The Numbers
- Eight different Warriors registered a point, including five different goal-scorers: Vivian (3), Jones (3), senior defenseman Steve Souza (Wilmington, Mass.), Poirier and Towler
- Vivian led all players with four points (3g, 1a), while junior Jamie Shand (Massapequa, N.Y.) and freshmen James Trask (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Tucker Schwarz (Tallahassee, Fla.) added one assist apiece
- By virtue of his assist, Schwarz extended his scoring streak to five straight games to start the season
- Merrimack held a 31-27 edge in shot attempts, putting 19 of those on target compared to 18 for Dowling
- Junior Brandon Waiter (Westport, Conn.) and senior Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) combined for six caused turnovers, forcing four and two takeaways, respectively, against Dowling
- Sophomore Andrew Walsh (Derry, N.H.) won 13-of-20 (65.0%) faceoffs to continue his impressive start to the season on the X
- Merrimack went 14-of-15 on clear attempts, while Dowling finished 13-for-13
- Dowling capitalized on 2-of-3 man-up opportunities, while Merrimack's man-up offense was kept in check on three tries
Merrimack returns home and to league play this Saturday (March 22), as the Warriors welcome American Int'l to campus for a 1 p.m. showdown at Martone-Mejail Field.