The Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team, reigning national runner-up, saw a nation-high five of its players earn Inside Lacrosse Division II Preseason All-America honors via the 2018 Face-Off Yearbook, which was released online on Monday.
The Warriors paced all teams nationwide with five preseason All-Americans, sharing that honor with last year’s national champion, Limestone, who also had a quintet of selections. Fellow Northeast-10 Conference rivals Adelphi and Le Moyne had four selections apiece.
Among Merrimack’s honorees were first-team selections sophomore attack Charlie Bertrand and senior defenseman James Bassett; its second-team picks were senior midfielder Hunter Schmell and senior faceoff specialist Blake Boudreau; finally, its third-team selection was senior midfielder Kyle Stenberg.
Bassett is coming off a phenomenal season that saw him earn USILA and Northeast-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors en route to being named a USILA First Team All-America. He also was an NEILA All-New England First Team and NE10 All-Conference First Team selection. He appeared in 19 games (18 starts) in 2017, finishing third on the team in ground Balls (55) and second on the team in caused turnovers (24).
Bertrand, likewise, was a USILA All-American (second team) as well as an NEILA All-New England First Team and NE10 All-Conference First Team pick. Not surprisingly, the freshman phenom was the NE10 Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the NE10 All-Rookie Team, as well. He was named USILA Offensive Player of the Week once after leading team in goals (52), assists (23), and points (75), starting 18 games. He had at least one goal in every game he played and recorded 12 hat tricks and one six-goal performance.
Boudreau earned his first USILA All-America Honorable Mention selection after another wonderful junior season. The two-time NEILA All-Region and NE10 All-Conference pick ranked 12th nationally in faceoff winning percentage and 15th nationally in ground balls per game. He won 236-of-382 on the X, good for .617 faceoff winning percentage, while leading the team in ground balls (114).
Schmell made his second full season with the Navy and Gold his most impactful, rising to the ranks of one of the nation’s best defensive short stick midfielders while earning USILA Second Team All-America honors. The first-time NEILA All-New England First Team and NE10 All-Conference First Team pick ranked sixth on the team with 37 ground balls and was 10th in both total points (21) and goals (8).
Finally, Stenberg enjoyed a breakthrough season as well last spring, earning NEILA All-New England Second Team and NE10 All-Conference Second Team honors. He ranked third on the team in overall scoring with 52 points and also ranked third in goals (37) and assists (15). Finally, he was tied for second with three game-winners and third with seven man-up goals.
The newly anointed top-ranked Warriors open the year at No. 8 NYIT this Sunday, Feb. 18, with a 12 p.m. start time.