Merrimack Men’s Lacrosse Drops Nail-Biter in First Division I Game

Links: Box Score

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Glimpses of the offensive juggernaut that is the Merrimack College men’s lacrosse was shown Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium, but a first half deficit proved to be too much in a 13-12 loss to Holy Cross in the Warriors’ inaugural NCAA Division I game.

The visiting Crusaders staked themselves to an 8-3 halftime lead, but the Warriors crept back into the game and tied it on a pair of occasions. Merrimack had one final opportunity to tie in the dying moments, but could not, as Holy Cross spoiled the Warriors’ Division I debut.

The Basics
Score: Holy Cross 13, Merrimack 12
Records: Merrimack (0-1, 0-0 NEC) | Holy Cross (1-0, 0-0 PL)
Attendance: 1,520

Rapid Recap

  • Merrimack got off to a promising start, as Drew Hailey scored the Warriors’ first Division I goal when he took a pass from Sean Black and found the back of the net just over two minutes in.
  • Holy Cross found its footing after the opening goal, as they pounced for four straight markers to close out the first quarter of play.
  • Christian Thomas tickled the twine for the first time on the year just 26 seconds into the second quarter thanks to a give-and-go with Tyler Liantonio.
  • Another Crusader run slowed down the home side’s momentum, as Holy Cross netted the following three.
  • Christian Thomas went on to complete a first half hat trick late in the second quarter, but another Holy Cross goal brought the score to 8-4 to close the opening half hour.
  • Just like the first two quarters, the Warriors had a quick answer to start the third, as Thomas scored his fourth of the day on a pass from his older brother, Dom Thomas.
  • Momentum was sustained this time for the Warriors, as Jack Richards scored his first collegiate goal just over a minute later to bring the margin to two.
  • Both sides traded goals to close out the third quarter, including a pair of tallies from Liantonio, to bring the score to 10-8 entering the fourth and final quarter.
  • After he had been held off the scoresheet for the first 45 minutes of play, NEC Preseason Player of the Year Charlie Bertrand put a strangle hold on the game to start the fourth. He scored a pair of goals in the first seven minutes, with an assist to Christian Thomas on both, to knot the game at 10.
  • The back-and-forth battle pressed on, as Holy Cross retook the lead a minute later, before Dom Thomas’ first of the year 34 seconds later brought it back to even at 11.
  • Then, the Crusaders went on a quick 2-0 run with five minutes to play that dug a big hole for the Warriors with time winding down.
  • Always resilient, Merrimack got the hat trick goal from Liantonio with under a minute to play to fuel the potential for one final comeback.
  • The Warriors could not corral the face-off after the Liantonio goal and the Crusaders were able to run off the final 56 seconds of clock to seal the decision.

Notes and Numbers

  • Christian Thomas led all scorers in the game with six points on four goals and two assists.
  • The loss marked Merrimack’s first at home since March 18, 2017, which spans a streak of 23 games.
  • Peter Brown made the start in net for the Warriors and made nine saves on 17 shots on goal. He was relieved by Steve Lauter, who stopped two of the seven he saw.
  • Shots: 40-32 HC (23-19 MC SOG)
  • EMO: HC: 2-3 // MC: 1-2
  • Faceoffs: 18-10 HC // Ground Balls: 35-21 HC
  • Turnovers (CT): 19-15 MC (10-6 HC) // Clears: HC: 18-19 // MC: 20-22

Up Next
The Warriors stay at home Feb. 15 to battle Ivy League foe Dartmouth. Face-off is set for 1 pm at Duane 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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