PREVIEW: Merrimack Travels to Adelphi in Semifinals of NCAA Lacrosse Tournament
2017 NCAA Tournament Men’s Lacrosse Championship Schedule
Saturday, May 13th – Quarterfinals
North Region Semifinal #1: #3 Merrimack at #2 Le Moyne (12 p.m.)
North Region Semifinal #2: #1 Adelphi def. #4 Pace, 10-9
South Region Semifinal #1: #1 Limestone def. #4 Wingate 14-5
South Region Semifinal #2: #3 Tampa def. #2 Lenoir-Rhyne, 11-8
Saturday/Sunday, May 20-21 – Semifinals
North Region Final: #3 Merrimack at #1 Adelphi (Saturday, 1 p.m.)
South Region Final: #3 Tampa at #1 Limestone (Sunday, 12 p.m.)
Sunday, May 28 – Championship
Regional champions at Gillette Stadium (2 p.m.)
Merrimack in the NCAA Tournament:
- Merrimack is back in the national tournament for the third straight season and fourth time overall in program history; the previous three occasions were in 2009, 2015 and 2016.
- In 2016, Merrimack won its first-ever NCAA Tournament home game against LIU Post before falling to Le Moyne in the semifinal round.
- In 2015, Merrimack won the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game at Adelphi, 10-9, to advance to the national semifinals before coming within an overtime goal of advancing to the national championship game for the first time in school history but came up just short against Le Moyne.
- Merrimack’s other NCAA semifinal appearance was back in 2009, before the national tournament field expanded from four teams to eight (which happened in 2013), when the Warriors earned the school’s first-ever at-large berth into the national bracket, which was automatically considered a semifinal berth
- The Warriors’ all-time postseason record (NE-10 Tournament + NCAA Tournament) stands at 21-20; Merrimack has gone 3-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 18-17 all-time in the NE-10 Tournament.
- Merrimack secured its first win in four tries against Le Moyne in the NCAA Tournament last Saturday (1-3); Merrimack’s only other NCAA Tournament opponents have been Adelphi (1-0) and LIU Post (1-0).
Last Time Out:
- After nearly squandering a four-goal, first-half lead, Merrimack went on a run that the hosts never had an answer for, scoring six straight on the way to a 10-5 victory over No. 2 Le Moyne.
- The win snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Dolphins and pushed the Warriors to the 2017 NCAA Tournament Semifinals, marking the third straight year that Merrimack has advanced to the tournament’s semifinal round.
- Merrimack could not have drawn up a better start to the contest, outscoring the Dolphins, 2-0, in the first quarter before pouncing on a pair of extra-man opportunities to double their lead less than six minutes into the second quarter, as Merrimack opened a game-high 4-0 advantage.
- Le Moyne would get on the board at the 9:18 mark, and then capitalized on a number of Merrimack turnovers that eventually allowed the Dolphins to get within one (4-3) at the half.
- The turnover issues continued to haunt Merrimack at the start of the third quarter, as the Dolphins drew even at 13:20.
- But the man-up unit pushed the Warriors ahead for good by netting their third goal of the game with exactly 10 minutes left in the third. That spurred a 4-0 scoring run to close out the quarter and eventually led to six uninterrupted markers overall, as four different Warriors found the twine in that span to restore Merrimack’s largest lead of the game at four goals (8-4).
- The Warriors would stretch the lead to five thanks to their fourth man-up goal of the game early in the fourth before netting one more for insurance while the defense yielded only one the rest of the way to punch Merrimack’s ticket to the national semifinals.
Towler, Morgan Headline Nine NEILA All-New England Selections:
- Merrimack – which had already boasted a league-high nine Northeast-10 All- Conference selections two weeks ago – was well-represented on the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) All-New England Division II Team, with a region-high nine selections.
- The Warriors, which went a perfect 8-0 against schools from New England and were the unanimous top-ranked team in each of the NEILA’s weekly regional rankings from start to finish, also were named the New England Team of the Year once again.
- In addition, Merrimack lay claim to the two major all-region awards, as senior Tim Towler – two weeks after being named the NE10 Player of the Year – earned an identical accolade as the NEILA Player of the Year for top bragging rights in all of New England. He becomes the program’s seventh NEILA Player of the Year since the 2008 season, joining graduates Scott Corcoran ’16, Jimmy Holland ’14, Corey Lunney ’13, and Greg Rogowski ’09.
- Head coach Mike Morgan, who is in the midst of his 10th season, also earned NEILA Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career and for the first time since the 2008 season.
- The nine overall all-region selections, meanwhile, mark the second straight year that the program has had nine NEILA All-New England picks. The only other season that saw the program garner more all-region selections was in 2015 (10).
- Merrimack owns the top-ranked offense in the NE10 and third-best in the country (15.53).
- The same can be said for Merrimack’s man-up offense, which operates at 45.6 percent, and leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally.
- The Warriors are equally impressive on the back end, ranking third in the league and eighth nationally yielding only 7.53 goals per game.
- Merrimack boasts the third-best average scoring margin in the country (+8.0).
- Merrimack has been held to a single-digit goal total just twice this season (9 at Adelphi, April 1; 9 at Le Moyne, May 5). Other than that, Merrimack has scored no fewer than 11 goals in its remaining games.
- Freshman Charlie Bertrand was named the NE10 Rookie of the Year and was once named the USILA National Offensive Player of the Week; he has posted no fewer than three points in any game he has played in and has 11 hat tricks. He leads the NE10 in goals (47) and points (68) and ranks 11th nationally in goals per game (2.94) and 14thin points per game (4.25).
- Senior midfielder Tim Towler was named NE10 and NEILA Player of the Year and has been a force on all three ends of the turf. His 48 points, 34 goals and 14 assists all rank second on the team, while his seven man-up goals are the fourth-most in the conference. He also has committed just 14 turnovers on the year, among the fewest on the team for any midfielder/attack.
- Junior James Bassett was the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year, as his steady presence on the back end has helped the Warriors post a top-10 scoring defense nationally. He has also contributed 18 caused turnovers and 48 ground balls, ranking second and third on the team, respectively, in each category.
- Junior Blake Boudreau is the conference’s third-best faceoff man and ranks 10th nationally with a 64.4 winning percentage on the X. He also ranks 12th nationally in ground balls per game (6.13).
- Sophomore Edward Hellier has been a rock between the posts for Merrimack; he ranks eighth nationally in goals-against average (7.8) and 14th in save percentage (.563) and has eight double-digit save performances – including five straight.
- Merrimack earned its first-ever No. 1 national ranking in the USILA/Nike 2017 Division II Coaches’ Poll in April and has been ranked no lower than sixth at any point this season.
- Merrimack has victories against the following ranked opponents: Limestone (1), Le Moyne (2), LIU Post (7), Pace (7), Saint Anselm (14), Southern New Hampshire (18) and Molloy (19), as well as a number of opponents that were receiving votes at the time of their matchup.
- Merrimack’s only losses this year are to Le Moyne, which was ranked No. 1 and No. 4 when they met, as well as then-sixth-ranked Adelphi.
Inside the Series:
- Merrimack is 9-7 all-time against Adelphi and had a three-game winning streak snapped against the Panthers after falling, 12-9, earlier this season at Motamed Field.
- Last year, Merrimack defeated Adelphi twice in North Andover; the first contest during the regular season was an 18-14 victory for the Warriors, and the second was a 14-13 triple-overtime thriller in the semifinal round of the NE10 Championship.
- The Warriors also have won the only NCAA Tournament game played between the two schools, which was a 10-9 thriller on Long Island in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals on May 9, 2015.
- Prior to this season, Merrimack’s last loss on Long Island was a 13-12 setback in the NE10 Final during the 2014 season.