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Massive Second Quarter Run Lifts Men’s Lacrosse Past Sacred Heart on Senior Day

Links: Box Score | Highlights

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team celebrated senior day in style Saturday night at Duane Stadium, as it used a 7-0 run in the second quarter to push past Sacred Heart, 14-10.

The Warriors rifled off seven straight from 10:12 in the second quarter to 4:22 and were able to maintain the lead the rest of the way. Tommy Rooney was in control all evening, as he tallied five goals and chipped in with an assist to tie his single game career-high of six points. Jack Rooney and Drew Hailey botch notched a hat trick to also lift the attack.  

Karl Sutter had another strong day at the face-off X, as the reigning NEC rookie of the week won 14 of his 26 opportunities.

Before the game, Merrimack honored eight seniors in the form of Matthew Brooks, Lantz Kilburn, Chris Willox, Nick Ponte, Peter Brown, Sean Black, Carlin Joyal and Christian Thomas. The group helped the Warriors’ successful transition into Division I play after a pair of national championships to close out the Division II era in 2018 and 2019.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 14, Sacred Heart 10
Records: Merrimack (5-4, 4-3 NEC) | Sacred Heart (1-9, 0-5 NEC)

Rapid Recap

  • Jack Rooney got Merrimack on the board quickly with 13:31 to play when he finished with just one second left on the shot clock in front of the cage.
  • The Pioneers answered at 8:46, but Grant Laman fired home his fifth of the season on a great individual effort at 7:19 to continue the back-and-forth opening quarter. 
  • Sacred Heart drew level at 4:02, but Laman got his second point of the quarter a little over two minutes later when he set up Black for his fifth on the campaign. The visitors tied it again 56 seconds after to end the opening 15 minutes even at three.  
  • A goal 3:11 into the second gave Sacred Heart its first lead of the night, but it was all Warriors after that. Jack Rooney tied it again at 10:12 when he took advantage of the Pioneer goalie vacating the cage, then Hailey gave Merrimack the lead at 9:21 when he made a quick cut, then fired one home from the far alley. 
  • Just a minute later, Max Morrill faked out a defender then scored from 15 yards out to set off a rapid scoring run. Hailey’s second of the day came 48 seconds later, then Tommy Rooney notched two straight in the following minute to quickly blow the game open at 9-4.
  • Hailey completed the scoring run and his hat trick at 4:22 when he took a feed from Laman and uncorked a missile to the roof of the net. 
  • Sacred Heart scored its first goal in 15:56 of game time to open the second half, then added two more to bring the deficit to three.
  • Tommy Rooney heated up in the final 17 minutes of the contest, which started at 2:11 of the third when Black fought hard and took a big hit to slip a feed to the junior straight away from the cage for his third goal of the night.
  • The Pioneers kept the game close to end the third quarter with another goal to make it 11-8 after 45 minutes.
  • A goal two minutes into the fourth made it a two-goal game, but the Rooney brothers responded at 10:35 when Jack set up Tommy with a gorgeous feed over the top of the defense before the elder of the two rifled one home from 12 yards out. 
  • The visitors worked the lead down to two again at 6:59, but Merrimack shut them down after that. Tommy Rooney finished off his second half hat trick with 4:45 to play in transition on a feed from Christian Glover, then Jack Rooney capped the scoring 38 seconds later to seal the victory. 

Notes and Numbers

  • Brennan McInnis had an exceptional day in the midfield with a team-high and single game career-high six ground balls and a caused turnover. He now has 12 ground balls in his last three games.
  • Nicholas Perez-Blanco led the Warrior defense with two caused turnovers. Michael Ferrara, Riley Reed, Thomas and Kilburn also forced a turnover.
  • Laman’s three points marked a single game career-high.
  • Hailey now has two hat tricks in his career, both this spring.  
  • The Rooney brothers continue to be neck-and-neck atop the team in scoring. Jack leads the way with 32 points, but Tommy is now just two behind at 30.
  • Henry Vogt won his fifth game of the season in the cage with nine saves.
  • Jack Barron was useful all over the field with an assist, two ground balls and he won the only faceoff he took.
  • Shots: 43-30 Merrimack (24-19 SOG)
  • EMO: Merrimack: 1-7 // SHU: 0-2
  • Faceoffs: 15-12 Merrimack // Ground Balls: 31-23 Merrimack
  • Turnovers (CT): 15-15 (7-6 Merrimack) // Clears: Merrimack: 20-21 // SHU: 14-16

Up Next
Merrimack closes the 2021 campaign Apr. 24 when it heads to central New York to battle Hobart. Face-off is slated for 1:00 at Urick Stadium.  

For continuing coverage of Merrimack College Athletics, visit MerrimackAthletics.com and follow the Warriors on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.

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