NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Trailing by four goals at the half, the third-ranked Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team rallied all the way back with a stretch of six uninterrupted goals to take a fourth-quarter lead and then sent the game to overtime with an equalizer late in regulation, but top-ranked and defending national champion Le Moyne College would walk off victorious after scoring the golden goal with a second left in the second overtime session to push the Dolphins past the Warriors, 12-11, in a wild Northeast-10 Conference matchup on Saturday at Martone-Mejail Field.
- Le Moyne took momentum early with three quick goals out of the gate, but Merrimack used a three-goal spurt of its own to tie things up at 3-3 late in the opening quarter. The Dolphins, though, would then respond with two more tallies to carry a two-goal edge (5-3) heading into the second.
- After an early Merrimack goal cut the deficit to one, Le Moyne closed out the half with three uninterrupted goals, with two of them coming in the final minute, to give the visitors an 8-4 advantage – their largest of the game – entering the break.
- A much more defensive-minded third quarter featured only two goals, with both coming off the stick of Merrimack players, as the home side slowly chipped away at Le Moyne’s lead and were within two (8-6) entering the final stanza.
- The Warriors kept that momentum rolling with four straight goals to open up the fourth quarter, giving the home side its first and largest lead of the game (10-8) with 7:22 to play. Le Moyne, however, would fight back with three goals coming in a two-minute span in the closing minutes of regulation, from freshman Charlie Bertrand (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) scored his team-leading sixth goal of the game with 1:08 left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
- Merrimack had possession at the start of each overtime session and nearly won it early in the second frame; the Warriors put three consecutive shot attempts toward the net but were unable to convert, leaving the door open for Le Moyne.
- After Merrimack goaltender Edward Hellier (South Portland, Maine) kept the game going with a huge stop with 1:15 left in the second overtime, the Warriors gave the ball back to the Dolphins. Le Moyne nearly turned it over, but maintained possession and won it in dramatic fashion after Josh Slowinski scored with a second on the clock.
Highlights and Notables
- Bertrand continues to impress through the first four games of his collegiate career and came through with his best performance yet on Saturday, leading the Warriors with a career-best six goals. He was Merrimack’s only multi-goal scorer.
- Other goal-scorers for the Warriors included seniors Hunter Schmell (Woodstock, Vt.), Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) and Max Allen (West Caldwell, N.J.), junior Kyle Stenberg (Annandale, N.J.) and sophomore Seamus Ford (Walpole, Mass.). It marked Schmell and Ford’s first goals of the season, respectively, and the first for the former since April 18, 2015.
- Schmell, Stenberg, Towler and Allen all had multi-point games with a goal and an assist apiece.
- Le Moyne has now won six straight games in the series, including three straight at home. The Warriors’ last win was in the 2014 NE10 Semifinals at Le Moyne (11-10).
- Merrimack has not lost against a non-Le Moyne opponent in nearly two full seasons; the last team to do so was Adelphi in the NE10 Semifinals on May 1, 2015.
Team Leaders (MC // LC)
- Points: Bertrand (6) // Sean Emerson/Justin Kesselring/Josh Slowinski (4)
- Goals: Bertrand (6) // Kesselring (4)
- Assists: Four players (1) // Emerson/Slowinski (2)
- Faceoffs: Blake Boudreau (13-of-21) // Kendall Vecchio (5-of-17)
- Ground Balls: Boudreau 6 // Zac Prattson (5)
- Caused Turnovers: Dan Cotnoir/James Bassett/Brennen Morin (2) // Ryan Desmond (3)
- Saves: Hellier (7-for-19) // Jack Sweeney (14-for-25)
Team Comparisons (MC // LC)
- EMO: 1-2 // 1-2
- Shot Attempts (SOG): 35 (25) // 33 (19)
- Ground Balls: 39 // 30
- Clears: 18-28 // 10-28
- Turnovers: 17 // 17
Merrimack will break for another week before closing out a three-game homestand next Saturday (March 25) against eighth-ranked Pace. Game time is set for 1 p.m.