March 17, 2011

Lunney Hat Trick Leads No. 5 Merrimack to Win

from press release

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass -- Behind a hat trick by Corey Lunney (Little Silver, N.J.), the No. 5 Merrimack men's lacrosse team prevailed 10-4 over Southern N.H. Thursday afternoon at Warrior Field. The Warriors improve to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Penmen fall to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in league action.

The Warriors tacked on the game's first goal with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter as Paul Jones (Guilderland, N.Y.) put Merrimack up 1-0 with his first collegiate tally. The home team owned a 16-2 advantage in shots through 15 minutes of play.

Matt Marini (Trumbull, Conn.) doubled the Warriors' lead with a goal 3:34 into the second frame. The Penmen got a goal back at the 5:05 mark of the quarter on a tally by Peter Vacca. The visitors knotted the score at 2-2 just 27 seconds later on a goal by John Cuozzo.

Merrimack notched two goals within a 34 second span to hold a 4-2 lead at halftime. Nick Vazquez (Haverhill, Mass.) buried a man-up score off of a feed from Brad McAdam (Neshanic Station, N.J.). Terence Barclay (Babylon, N.Y.) closed out the first half scoring with an easy put-away setup by Greg Fallon (North Kingstown, R.I.).

Vazquez and Fallon each recorded unassisted tallies to open the second half. Lunney kept the Warriors rolling with his first goal of the afternoon. McAdam picked up his second helper of the game on the score.

Michael Balbuena (Falmouth, Mass.) pushed Merrimack's lead to six with his third goal on the year at 7:08 of the third quarter.

The Penmen potted a pair of goals to cut the deficit to four with 3:53 remaining in the third period, 8-4.

Lunney lasered a shot into the net from the left side in the closing seconds of the third quarter to grant the Warriors a 9-4 advantage heading into the final 15 minutes.

Lunney registered the lone goal of the fourth frame as he completed the hat trick with a man-up strike. The Warriors possessed the ball for the final 4:30 of the game to close out the win.

Merrimack improves to 23-2 at Warrior Field since the 2008-09 season.

Connor Reagan (East Lyme, Conn.) turned aside 10 shots in the contest for Merrimack en route to earning his third victory of the year. Brendan O'Brien made 21 saves between the pipes for Southern N.H. on the day.

Nick Maggio (Winchester, Mass.) won 13 of 18 faceoffs for the Warriors while scooping up 10 ground balls. Barclay and Lunney paced Merrimack with nine shots apiece. As a team, the Warriors fired 50 shots in the game with 31 being on frame. Southern N.H. was limited to just 18 bids in the match.

Merrimack was successful on 19-of-21 clear attempts. The Warriors also cashed in on 2-of-3 extra man opportunities. The Penmen converted 1-of-2 man-up chances.

Merrimack heads to the Tar Heel State for a pair of games. The Warriors will meet No. 12 Catawba March 21 and Pfeiffer March 23.

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