SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Second-seeded and fourth-ranked Le Moyne scored with 42 seconds left to send the game to overtime before winning it with 35 seconds left in the second extra session, as the second-ranked and third-seeded Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team saw its 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Championship run cut short in the league tournament’s semifinal round after falling, 10-9, to the Dolphins in another postseason classic between the two rivals on Friday afternoon at Ted Grant Field.
Score: Le Moyne 10, Merrimack 9 (F/2OT)
Records: #2 Merrimack (13-3, 9-2 NE10) | #4 Le Moyne (13-2, 9-2 NE10)
Location: Ted Grant Field | Syracuse, N.Y.
2017 NE-10 Men’s Lacrosse Championship Schedule
Tuesday, May 2nd – First Round
Game 1: #3 Merrimack def. #6 SNHU, 13-10
Game 2: #4 Pace def. #5 Saint Anselm, 11-10 (F/OT)
Friday, May 5th – Semifinals
Game 3: #4 Pace at #1 Adelphi, 7:00 pm
Game 4: #2 Le Moyne def. #3 Merrimack, 10-9 (F/2OT)
Sunday, May 7th – Championship at Highest Remaining Seed
Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Le Moyne – 1:00 p.m. at Higher Seed
- Playing in a steady and heavy rain throughout the majority of the contest, Merrimack and Le Moyne grinded through the elements in a low-scoring first half.
- The Warriors took an early lead just past the two-minute mark, but the Dolphins then edged ahead on two consecutive strikes before senior Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) netted his second of the game to even it up at 2-2, and that score went unchanged entering the second.
- That defensive battle continued in the second, as only three combined goals were scored. However, the Warriors had the last two, and that would send the visitors into the locker room with a 4-3 advantage at the midpoint.
- Freshman Charlie Bertrand (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) pushed the Warriors out to their largest lead of the game early in the third (5-3), but Le Moyne then netted three in succession to go back on top and carried a 6-5 lead into the final frame.
- Towler’s hat trick evened things up with 12:08 to play before he round the back of the net again to put the Warriors back on top. But Le Moyne would answer a minute later to draw even at 7-7.
- Junior Kyle Stenberg (Annandale, N.J.) scored for the first time at the 7:30 mark of the fourth only to be answered by another goal from Le Moyne’s Justin Kesselring. Bertrand would net his 11th hat trick of the year with 3:28 to play, but Kesselring provided more heroics for the hosts by tying the game with 42 seconds left thanks to his sixth tally of the afternoon to send it to overtime.
- Merrimack controlled the majority of scoring chances in the first overtime session but was unable to find the back of the net despite despite winning the faceoff. The Warriors again had a chance in the second overtime after winning the faceoff but were denied by Le Moyne goalkeeper Jack Sweeney, which allowed the hosts the opportunity to set up the winning goal which came off the stick of Dan Entenmann.
Highlights and Notables
- Merrimack saw its eight-game winning streak snapped; that stretch was its longest unbeaten streak since going nine straight without a loss from March 26-May 8, 2016.
- Bertrand and Towler shared the team leading with four points apiece, as the former secured his 11th hat trick of the year while dishing an assist. Towler, meanwhile, tied his season-high with four goals while registering his sixth hat trick.
- Stenberg had Merrimack’s lone remaining muti-goal performance and finished with three points (2g, 1a).
- Junior Blake Boudreau (Amherst, N.H.) was stellar on the X, dominating the game by winning 18-of-23 faceoffs. He also led all players with 11 ground balls.
- Junior Eric Coburn (Londonderry, N.H.) caused two of Merrimack’s seven turnovers to highlight a strong day on the defensive front.
Team Leaders (MC // LEM)
- Points: Towler/Bertrand (4) // Justin Kesselring (6)
- Goals: Towler (4) // Kesselring (6)
- Assists: Four players (1) // Alex O’Brien (3)
- Faceoffs: Blake Boudreau (18-of-23) // Zac Cooley (4-of-12)
- Ground Balls: Boudreau (11) // Entenmann/Cooley (5)
- Caused Turnovers: Coburn (2) // Entenmann (3)
- Saves: Edward Hellier (11) // Jack Sweeney (14)
Team Comparisons (MC // LEM)
- EMO: 2-4 // 1-4
- Shot Attempts/SOG: 37/23 // 43/21
- Ground Balls: 38 // 25
- Clears: 11-13 // 17-24
- Turnovers: 16 // 20
Merrimack will await the announcement of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament field, which will be announced on www.NCAA.com/Live on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.
Mike McMahon has covered Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune since 2006 and he also has been a senior writer at College Hockey News since 2005.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN and you can follow the site @TheMackReports.