NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Featuring eight home games within the confines of brand-new Merrimack Stadium and bouts against three NCAA Tournament teams, the reigning national runner-up Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team and the Merrimack Athletic Department are excited to unveil the team’s 2018 schedule.
Links: 2018 Schedule
“It was important to the coaching staff to make sure we did not rest on our laurels from last season and challenge our group game in and game out,” head coach Mike Morgan stated. “I don’t think there’s any denying that we’ve done that and more with this schedule, which features a blend of challenging road games and exciting home matchups against some of the best teams in the country. The fact that every single game is within our region adds that much more importance, as well. The goal, of course, is to put ourselves in position to challenge for a national title, and as long as we take care of business this schedule certainly should be strong enough to both allow us and prepare us to do so.”
Merrimack will begin the season on the road, as it heads to Long Island to battle NYIT on Sunday, Feb. 18, at noon to get things started. The Bears are traditionally one of the top teams in the region annually and are coming off a 14-3 season and an East Coast Conference regular season and tournament title. The two schools will be meeting for the first time since 2011, when the Warriors posted an 11-8 win on the road.
After a weekend off, Merrimack then returns home to take on Lake Erie College, who – due to reconfigured NCAA regional alignments – now is a member of the North Region, putting that much more at stake for the two schools’ matchup. The Warriors will battle the Storm in a historic home opener on Saturday, March 3, marking the first game played for the program at Merrimack Stadium, which opened last fall. Merrimack last met Lake Erie in 2013 after an 11-10 win on the road.
The Warriors will stay home a week later to continue their long regional rivalry with LIU Post; Merrimack, which has won five straight wins against the Pioneers, is coming off a convincing 12-5 win in last year’s season opener on Long Island, which marked its greatest margin of victory against LIU Post since 2014. The last time the Warriors played the Pioneers at home was in the quarterfinal round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
From there on out, the schedule will be exclusively Northeast-10 Conference competition, as Merrimack concludes its three-game home stand against Saint Rose on March 17. A week later (March 24), the Warriors will head to Syracuse for a rematch of last year’s NE10 Semifinal and NCAA Quarterfinal against rival Le Moyne before meeting Bentley in a midweek matchup in Waltham on March 28. Merrimack rounds out the month of March at home against AIC on March 31.
Turning to April, the Warriors start with their only night home game, a Tuesday night tussle against Saint Anselm College (April 3) before a quick trip up to Manchester to take on Southern New Hampshire on April 7. The two sides played in the first round of last year’s NE10 Championship, which Merrimack won.
Another midweek matchup at home awaits Merrimack, as Franklin Pierce heads to down on April 11. The Warriors will then play their final two regular season road games starting with a trip to New York on Saturday, April 14, to face an upstart Pace team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever last spring. Three days later, Merrimack makes the short drive out to Worcester to take on Assumption.
Finally, the regular season concludes with back-to-back Saturday home tilts; first, the Warriors welcome Adelphi on April 21 in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Semifinals, which the Warriors won in convincing fashion, before hosting Saint Michael’s College the following Saturday (April 28).
The 2018 NE10 Championship will once again feature the top-six teams, with the No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed earning first-round byes while the remaining four seeds battle in the league quarterfinals on Tuesday, May 1. The conference semifinals will be held on Friday, May 4, and the last two teams standing will square off in the 2018 NE10 Championship Final on Sunday, May 8, at the site of the highest remaining seed.