May 2, 2014

Merrimack Stuns No. 1 Le Moyne in NE-10 Semis

from press release

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With the scored tied at 10 apiece with 30 seconds to play, the eighth-ranked Merrimack College men's lacrosse team marched into the Le Moyne end and set up a play that ended with freshman attackman Tucker Schwarz (Tallahassee, Fla.) finding the back of the net, sending the third-seeded Warriors to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship thanks to an 11-10 road win against the second-seeded and top-ranked Dolphins in the league's semifinal round on Friday afternoon.

The Basics

Score: #8 Merrimack 11, #1 Le Moyne 10
Records: # 8 Merrimack (12-4) | #1 Le Moyne (13-2)
Location: Ted Grant Field | Syracuse, N.Y.

2014- NE-10 Men's Lacrosse Championship
Tuesday, April 29 - First Round
Game 1: #3 Merrimack 14, #6 Saint Anselm 6 | BOX
Game 2: #4 Bentley 8, #5 Southern New Hampshire 7 | BOX

Friday, May 2 - Semifinals
Game 3: #3 Merrimack 11, #1 Le Moyne 10 | BOX
Game 4: #4 Bentley at No. 1 Adelphi – 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 4 - Final
Game No. 5: Merrimack vs. Winner of Game 4 – TBD (either 12:00 or 1:00 p.m.)

How It Happened

Making their 15th appearance in the NE-10 Semifinals, the Warriors found themselves down by three in the early goings before cutting the deficit to two on a goal with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. The second frame, however, saw Merrimack gather its legs and outscore the hosts by a 3-1 margin to send the game into the half all even at 4-4.

That would set the stage for a wild second half, as each team responded time and time again with neither side's lead growing larger than two goals at any point.

After both squads tallied three goals in the third, Le Moyne would get the lead back on an early strike from Chris Button at the 12:57 mark, but that would only spur back-to-back goals from the visitors, with sophomore Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) netting his third marker of the game at 9:39 while on the man advantage before junior Kyle Guilbert (Walpole, Mass.) put the Warriors ahead by a goal three minutes later.

A quick response from Le Moyne drew the Dolphins even at 9-9 with 6:15 left in regulation before Kevin Kelly put Le Moyne ahead by a goal with 4:13 left. But the Warriors, who had not win in Syracuse since – coincidentally enough – an NE-10 Semifinal victory back in 2011, kept calm and turned to Guilbert again, who wrapped up his own hat trick effort with the game-tying tally with 2:16 to play.

Le Moyne, however, would win the ensuing faceoff and burn a timeout to set up an offensive play. The Warrior defense held strong and forced a turnover late in regulation, setting up the game-winning sequence.

Following a Merrimack timeout, senior Mike Perdie (Wading River, N.Y.) found Schwarz open, and the rookie sensation tickled the twine with six seconds left to send the Navy and Gold to their first conference title game since 2012 and 10th overall.

Inside The Numbers

In addition to the hat tricks from Towler and Guilbert, Schwarz (2) and senior Paul Jones (Guilderland, N.Y.) each scored twice, while sophomore middie Ryan Poirier (Warwick, R.I.) also found the back of the net

Freshman Dom Madonna (Liverpool, N.Y.) out-dueled Le Moyne's Pat Brothers in net, as the former finished with 14 saves compared to nine for Brothers

Each side finished with two man-up goals, with the Warriors capitalizing on both of their extra-man opportunities and Le Moyne finishing 2-for-4

Le Moyne controlled the battle on the X, winning 21-of-25 faceoffs while finishing with a 36-20 edge in ground balls

Merrimack finished with a 45-40 edge in shot attempts

Up Next

The Warriors will learn their destination for the league finals after Adelphi and Bentley's semifinal bout concludes later this afternoon. Should Adelphi win, the Warriors will travel to Long Island to face the Panthers on Sunday. If the Falcons pull off the upset, Merrimack would host the championship on Sunday, as well. Start time will either be 12 or 1 p.m.

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