SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Trailing by a goal with less than 30 seconds to play, No. 3 Le Moyne rallied past the No. 5 Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team with two goals in a 23-second span – including the go-ahead strike with only three seconds left – to stun the Warriors in the semifinal round of the 2019 Northeast-10 Conference Championship.
Moving to 13-3 on the season, Merrimack will await its NCAA Tournament fate when the full 12-team bracket is revealed on Sunday. The defending national champions have qualified for four straight tournaments, which gets underway next Wednesday with preliminary round action.
Score: Le Moyne 12, Merrimack 11
Records: #5 Merrimack (13-3, 10-1 NE10) | #3 Le Moyne (14-2, 10-1 NE10)
Location: Ted Grant Field | Syracuse, N.Y.
- Merrimack would get the game’s opening possession and had a few looks, but Le Moyne netminder Riley Smith set the tone early with two of what would be 18 saves in total. The Dolphins then came down took their first lead of the afternoon before turnovers by both sides mucked up the next five minutes as neither side was able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities.
- Merrimack came up empty on its first extra-man opportunity of the day, and the Dolphins would make that missed chance hurt, scoring on their next possession to double their lead before netting one last marker before the buzzer sounded to carry a 3-0 lead into the first break.
- The Warriors mounted their first charge of the afternoon with a dominant 10-minute stretch that saw them turn a three-goal deficit into a three-goal lead after six uninterrupted goals. Junior Charlie Bertrand and sophomore Christian Thomas had two apiece, with senior Michael O’Connell and freshman Christian Glover netting the last two to push the Warriors ahead.
- Le Moyne would make it interesting after finding the back of the net twice in the final three minutes of the half to pull within one at the midway point.
- Le Moyne scored early in the third to tie things up, sparking a four-goal frame for the hosts, who would outscore Merrimack by a 4-2 margin in that sequence. After about an eight-minute draught, Christian Thomas’ third of the day gave the Warriors the lead right back, but two quick responses (including one after an EMO expired) by the home side pushed them back ahead, 8-7, with 2:01 left.
- Rookie Max Morrill would get on the board after picking up a rebound and burying it with under a minute left in the third, but Le Moyne would get one more with 38 ticks left to take that 9-8 edge into the final quarter, as well as a man-up chance.
- Merrimack was first tasked with killing off a penalty and did so before leveling the ledger at 9-all with the first of the day by sophomore Sean Blackearly in the fourth. Then it was junior Dom Thomas taking a pass from brother Christian Thomas and finding the twine for another Merrimack lead at 10:23, and five minutes later, Black went in alone and scored to give the Warriors their first multi-goal lead since the second quarter.
- Le Moyne got to within a goal at 4:22, but sophomore Davis Cronin came up with a crucial face-off win for the visitors, who had opportunities to add to their lead but turned it over on a crease violation. That kept the door open for the Dolphins, who tied it with 26 seconds left.
- Merrimack would win the final face-off initially, but another turnover gave possession back to the hosts; after a timeout, the Dolphins scored with less than three seconds left to complete the stunning rally and get the win.
Notes and Numbers
- Cronin had arguably his best day in a Merrimack uniform after winning 21-of-24 face-offs (87.5%) and led all players with nine ground balls.
- Black would lead all Warriors with five points on the day (2g, 3a), while Christian Thomas had Merrimack’s lone hat trick and finished with four points. Bertrand was the last Warrior with two or more goals.
- Both sides combined for 36 turnovers with 18 apiece; Merrimack has now committed 42 turnovers over its last two games.
- Merrimack has also now won 23 straight games at home, the longest active home winning streak in the country.
- Le Moyne boosted its all-time edge to 29-11 against Merrimack, which has gone just 6-19 against the Dolphins on the road.
- Shots: 43-34 (29-16 SOG)
- EMO: 3-7 // 0-3
- face-offs: 21-3 // Ground Balls: 31-19
- Turnovers (CT): 18-18 (3-8) // Clears: 11-13 // 16-22
Merrimack will learn its NCAA Tournament fate when the selection show airs live on NCAA.com on Sunday (May 5) evening at 7:30 p.m.