NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack men's soccer team dropped a 4-0 decision to UMass Lowell under the lights and rain at Warrior Field Wednesday night. The Warriors begin play in the Northeast-10 Conference with an 0-1-0 mark while dipping to 1-1-1 on the year. The River Hawks improve to 1-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the league.
Lowell struck early in the match as Bruno Bonicontro found Homero Morais in front of the cage 4:13 into play. Morais one-timed a shot into the goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The River Hawks added a second goal in the first half as Bonicontro buried a marker from the top of the box. He volleyed a feed from Daniel Galvin into the net to raise Lowell's advantage to two in the 15th minute.
Merrimack earned a penalty kick in the 20th minute as a River Hawk handled the ball inside the penalty area. Evan Burokas' (Auburn, MA) bid at cutting the deficit to a goal was pushed wide by Lowell's goalkeeper.
One minute later, Paul Correia (Revere, MA) sent a low hard shot on frame from 30 yards out that the keeper misplayed, creating a rebound. Francis Mulkern (Scituate, MA) darted in and sent a shot just wide of the post.
The Warriors held an 8-6 edge in shots while also earning four of five corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes of play.
Mohammed Saeed lifted Lowell's lead to three goals in the 61st minute. A failed clear attempt went into the air and Saeed sent a bicycle kick into the back of the net for the third River Hawk goal of the night.
On the ensuing possession, Robbie Sabadoz (Ottawa, Ontario) settled a loose ball on the left wing and dribbled towards the endline. Sabadoz sent a low cross across the face of the goal that was cleared by a defender before a Warrior could latch onto it.
Lowell's Eric DeSantis capped off the scoring in the 65th minute of play. DeSantis dribbled the ball from the right flank into the center of the pitch before slotting a low shot into the side netting.
In the 76th minute, Elvert Bodden's (La Ceiba, Honduras) header rang off the right post after it looked to be heading for the top right corner of the frame.
Merrimack finished with 17 shots while UMass Lowell fired 11 in the game. The Warriors received 11 corner kicks in the contest and surrendered just three.
Mattias Drummond (Partille, Sweden) registered one save in goal for the Warriors in 75:35 of work. Evan Berube (Uxbridge, MA) played the final 14:25 between the pipes for the hosts while stopping one shot.
"We got behind early and that gave them plenty of momentum. We need to be ready to play from the opening whistle each and every game," said head coach Tony Martone. "We had our chances to put the ball into the back of the net tonight. Our chances will always be there and we need to capitalize on those opportunities."
Merrimack remains at home heading into the weekend as it ventures back into non-conference action as it will host Wilmington September 10 at 4 pm.