April 2, 2014

Shand, Merrimack Squeeze Past LIU Post

from press release

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Leading by just a goal with plenty of time remaining, preseason All-American and junior attackman Jamie Shand (Massapequa, N.Y.) put the eighth-ranked Merrimack College men's lacrosse team on his back, ripping off a pair of game-deciding, back-to-back goals to give the Warriors a lead they would never relinquish, as the Navy and Gold held on for a huge regional victory against No. 9 LIU Post on Wednesday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.

The Basics
Score: #8 Merrimack 11, #9 LIU Post 10
Records: #8 Merrimack (5-3) | #9 LIU Post (5-3)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.

How It Happened
In a must-win game for a Merrimack side that was in desperate need of a victory over a ranked team, the Warriors got their money's worth against the ninth-ranked Pioneers, as each side went toe-to-toe over the length of re gelation with neither squad leading by more than two goals over the length of the contest.

After Merrimack carried an 8-6 lead into the final quarter, LIU responded quickly to draw within one, but the hosts would respond two minutes later on their third man-up goal of the game at 11:22 of the fourth, making it a 9-7 lead for the Warriors.

Once again, LIU answered, this time at the 6:24 mark to make it a one-goal game again. That, however, was when Shand came to the rescue; the Massapequa, N.Y., native blitzed a shot by Pioneer goalkeeper T.J. DiCarlo (12 saves) at 6:24 before capping off his hat trick performance with the biggest marker of the game at 2:43, taking a feed from fellow Preseason All-American Mike Perdie (Wading River, N.Y.) and burying it with 2:43 to go to put the Warriors on top by three.

As things turned out, Merrimack would need every single one of those tallies, as the Pioneers came right back down and answered with a tick under two minutes to play and then again with 1:23 to go, as the visitors threatened to storm all the way back with the momentum on LIU's side.

Merrimack would win the final faceoff of the game thanks to more heroics by sophomore Andrew Walsh (Derry, N.H.), who won 14-of-25 battles on the X, but a turnover gave possession back to the Pioneers with a minute to play.

But the Warrior defense did their part, as senior Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) intercepted an LIU pass in the defensive end before junior Brandon Waiter (Westport, Conn.) picked off another one with seconds to go, securing the Warriors' first win over a ranked team this season and one that they desperately needed to stay alive in the race for an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Inside The Numbers

Shand highlighted another balanced display by the Warrior offense, which saw eight different players find the back of the net and two multi-goal efforts, with the other coming from senior Paul Jones (Guilderland, N.Y.), who tallied two markers and an assist on the day

In his first game since March 9 after a lingering injury, Perdie didn't miss a beat, finishing with a game-high three points (1g, 2a); he was one of four players to finish with three points, the others being Shand (3g), freshman Tucker Schwarz (Tallahassee, Fla.) (1g, 2a), and Jones (2g, 1a)

Senior Steve Souza (Wilmington, Mass.), sophomore Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) and freshmen Jack Trask (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Max Allen (West Caldwell, N.J.) also finished with a goal, while senior Paul Gallagher (Simsbury, Conn.) also added an assist

In net, freshman Dom Madonna (Liverpool, N.Y.) played well beyond his years and made several key stops to finish with five total saves

Souza led all Warriors with five ground balls, while Merrimack finished with a 28-26 edge in that category

Merrimack finished 3-for-6 with the man advantage and kept LIU off the board on off of its man-up opportunities

Despite being outshot 41-35 total, Merrimack held a 23-15 edge in shots on target

LIU committed five more turnovers than Merrimack, 19-14, Merrimack went 14-of-15 on clears

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