The Merrimack men’s lacrosse team rolled on Sunday to a 27-2 win over AIC …
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — The Merrimack men’s lacrosse team opened the season ranked fourth in Division II, and the Warriors quickly rose to No. 3 after beating then third-ranked LIU Post in the season opener last weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, the Warriors kept rolling in a 27-2 win over American International at Martone-Mejail Field.
“Getting the Post win under our belt, that’s a huge piece for the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year,” said Merrimack coach Mike Morgan. “Then with the schedule set up the way it is, with a week off between these games, you can get healthy and build some chemistry.”
The Warriors are a younger group in some key positions, and played nearly their entire roster in Sunday’s win. Merrimack led 15-1 at halftime and had goals from 15 different players, including multi-goal games from eight different players. Max Allen scored four times, all within about a four-minute span of the second quarter, with John Bassett and Derick Tinsley also adding hat tricks. The Warriors also played all three goalkeepers.
Merrimack’s 27 goals scored were the most in a single game in 16 years, since Merrimack beat AIC 27-3 during the 2000 season; Morgan was a senior on that Merrimack team.
“We have some young guys in key roles,” he said. “The way the schedule panned out, getting that first win was huge and now with the win tonight, we can keep ramping up with days to prepare in between. We couldn’t be more happy with the way the season has started.”
Even once the Warriors turned the game over to reserves in the second half, they didn’t miss a beat. Merrimack outscored AIC 12-1 in the second half and outshot the Yellow Jackets 66-12 in the game, winning 24 of 33 draws and scooping up 29 of the game’s 40 ground balls. Merrimack finished 3 for 4 in man-up situations and held AIC to 0 for 5.
“Getting the guys in there and getting them experience is two-fold,” Morgan said. “For some guys, they will be major contributors for us quick, and they are young and this is valuable game experience for them this season. For some other guys with a year or two before they’ll get going and in the flow, this is going to give them a good understanding of the level they need to be at.
“Some guys have longer process than others to get on the field. It’s good for our younger guys all around though, to get out there with some of our older guys and get into game action. Our standards don’t change in a game like this. We have the same standards offensively and defensively and we hold them to it.”
Merrimack’s depth could pay dividends down the road, and especially over the next two weeks. The Warriors are off until traveling to Southern New Hampshire this coming Saturday and will then turn around quickly with a home game against St. Michael’s on March 8, the following Tuesday. The Warriors then hit the road at Pace on March 12, marking three games in one week.
“We pride ourselves on that depth,” Morgan said. “With the coaches we have here, and how we coach them, everyone is accountable to the same standards. You saw some of that tonight. You look at the bottom of our roster, and they are really good players who buy in. They might be younger guys who are bench guys for us this year, but against another team in their division and they excelled. That’s something that starts in practice. The depth we’ve been able to build over the years has helped us even in practice. From 1-40 we’re competitive. You saw a lot of that tonight.”