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Balance attack powers No. 4 Warriors past SNHU

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Four different Warriors had hat tricks and seven overall players found the back of the net at least once, highlighting a 16-9 victory for the No. 4 Merrimack College men’s lacrosse program, which remained unbeaten in league play after a seven-goal victory over visiting Southern New Hampshire on Saturday at Duane Stadium.

Links: Box Score // Highlights

Sophomore Christian Thomas, one game after tying his career-high with 10 points, led all players with six on the strength of three goals and three helpers. He was joined on the scoresheet by senior Michael O’Connell, junior Tyler Liantonio and freshman Max Morrill, who all had three-goal outings themselves.

Junior Nick Ponte finished with 10 saves on 14 shots (.714) in the second half to backstop the Warriors to victory after sophomore Peter Brownplayed the first 30 minutes and came up with four stops.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 16, Southern New Hampshire 9
Records: #4 Merrimack (8-1, 6-0 NE10) | Southern New Hampshire (2-8, 1-6 NE10)
Location: Duane Stadium | North Andover, Mass.
Duration: 1:59
Attendance: 418

Rapid Recap

  • After an early goal by the Penmen, Merrimack ripped off four in a row from four different scorers to take a three-goal lead, with the last one coming from junior Dom Thomas while playing a man up. The Penmen got to within one after finding the net twice in a two-minute span and then had a chance to tie it after having 90 seconds of an extra-man opportunity that carried into the start of the second quarter.
  • The Warriors wrested the momentum right back after killing the remaining penalty to open the second stanza and then went up by five after netting four straight tallies, all from different players. SNHU briefly made it a three-goal game after a pair of goals in the span of a minute, but the Warriors had the last two markers of the half, as Liantonio, sophomore Christian Thomas and Morrill all had hat tricks at the 30-minute mark to lead the Warriors’ balanced attack.
  • That momentum carried over to start the third quarter, as freshman Jake Holava netted his first of the afternoon less than three minutes into the half before Liantonio and Dom Thomas added one more apiece to build the hosts’ lead to eight goals (13-5). SNHU’s only answer was a fluky goal off a turnover late in the period, as the Warriors brought a seven-goal lead into the fourth (13-6).
  • O’Connell and Merrimack’s top-ranked man-up offense in the country struck twice in the early goings of the final frame to push the Warrior lead to a game-high nine goals. SNHU would only get as close as six the rest of the way before freshman Drew Hailey rounded out the afternoon with the final tally.

Notes and Numbers

  • Christian Thomas led all scorers for the second game in a row with a six-point afternoon (3g, 3a). Morrill finished with four points with his hat trick, joining Liantonio (3g) and O’Connell (3g) as hat trick-getters.
  • Sophomore Carlin Joyal was particularly strong on defense with a game-high three caused turnovers and six ground balls.
  • Merrimack’s 20 successful clears were a season-high, as were their 55 shot attempts and 37 shots on goal.
  • Merrimack extended its conference winning streak to 17 straight contests, the longest active streak in the NE10 and second-longest conference winning streak nationally. Merrimack has won 20 straight games at home, the longest active home winning streak in the country.
  • Merrimack improved to 36-8 all-time against SNHU, winning its eighth straight against the Penmen.
  • Shots: 55-37 (37-23 SOG)
  • EMO: 3-4 // 1-5
  • Faceoffs: 11-16 // Ground Balls: 32-39
  • Turnovers (CT): 14-21 (13-6) // Clears: 20-24 // 16-23

Up Next
Merrimack rounds out its run against the New Hampshire-based NE10 schools when it visits Franklin Pierce on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

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