|Date||Saturday, Feb. 18, 2018 (12 p.m.)|
|Records||#3 Merrimack (15-3, 10-1 NE-10) (2016)
#7 LIU Post (2-1, 0-0 ECC)
|Location||Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium
|Social||@MerrimackMLAX // @MC_Athletics // Instagram|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After setting the school record for wins in a single season (15) and advancing to the NCAA Tournament Semifinal for the second year in a row last spring, the third-ranked Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team returns to the turf for the first time since last May when it opens the 2017 campaign with a rematch of last year’s NCAA Quarterfinal, as the Warriors travel to seventh-ranked LIU Post to start things off on Saturday (Feb. 18) at 12 p.m.
Last Look at 2016:
- Merrimack followed up an immensely successful 2015 with an even better 2016, one that featured a return trip to the NCAA Semifinals, a school-record 15 victories, and plenty of individual accolades.
- Merrimack went 10-1 in the NE10 regular season and placed second in the conference standings for the second year in a row. The warriors advanced to the conference tournament final and finished as league runner-up.
- Merrimack earned a second straight strip to the NCAA Tournament and earned the right to host the quarterfinal round of the national tournament for the first time in program history, one they would win thrilling fashion over LIU Post. Merrimack’s only three losses last year were to eventual national champion Le Moyne.
- Merrimack racked up plenty of individual accolades: they led the league with 10 all-conference picks and led the region with nine NEILA All-New England selections. Finally, the Warriors finished with six USILA All-Americans and boasted the long stick midfielder of the year in 2016 graduate Scott Corcoran.
Five USILA Preseason All-Americans:
- After tying its single-season record with six USILA All-Americans at the end of last spring, Merrimack led the North Region with five preseason All-Americans from the outlet, as announced in December.
- Senior attackman Max Allen was the Warriors’ lone first team honoree, while two other seniors and a graduate student littered the second team pool in the form of midfielder Jack Trask and defensemen Brennen Morin and Tom McLaughlin, respectively. Finally, senior midfielder Tim Towler rounded out the quintet as Merrimack’s only third team selection, as well.
- The only team with more preseason All-Americans was perennial power and last year’s national runner-up Limestone College; Le Moyne College, the defending national champions, had two representatives, while fellow 2016 NCAA Tournament participant NYIT had the next-highest amount of preseason All-Americans with four.
- Merrimack was ranked second in the nation according to Inside Lacrosse magazine’s 2017 Face-Off Yearbook, which was announced in late December. The Warriors trailed only defending national champion Le Moyne in the poll.
- The first USILA/Nike 2017 Division II Coaches’ Poll for the preseason had Merrimack slotted third, trailing last year’s national championship contestants in Le Moyne (1) and Limestone (2).
Inside the Series:
- Merrimack and LIU Post have played one of the most fiercely contested rivalries over the past five years, as the Warriors have now won four straight dating back to the 2014 season.
- The two sides met twice last season, with Merrimack winning both times; the Warriors held off the Pioneers, 12-10, in their season opener in February before their fateful matchup in the NCAA Tournament which was also won by a two-goal margin, 15-13.
- The combined goal margin in all of the previous four games in the series has been six goals, as Merrimack rallied from a six-goal, third-quarter deficit to win by one (10-9) in the last meeting on Long Island in 2015 and also edged the Pioneers by one (11-10) at home in 2014.
- LIU Post hasn’t defeated Merrimack since the 2007 season, when the Warriors dropped a 9-4 decision on the road against then-C.W. Post.
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.