|Date||Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 (1 p.m.)|
|Matchup||Merrimack (0-0, 0-0 NEC)
Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0 PL)
|Location||Duane Stadium // North Andover, Mass.|
|Multimedia||Live Stats // Video|
|Social||Twitter // Instagram|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After dominating NCAA Division II for the past two seasons, the Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team opens a new chapter Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium.
After winning the past two national championships, the Warriors begin play in NCAA Division I Saturday when Patriot League foe Holy Cross visits North Andover.
Five Things to Know:
- Merrimack ended its time in NCAA Division II with its second straight national title when the Warriors beat #1 Limestone, 16-8, May 26, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Charlie Bertrand led the way with seven points on the strength of four goals and three assists and Sean Black finished with five points thanks to his two goals and three helpers. It was the second straight NCAA championship win, after the Warriors topped Saint Leo 23-6 in the 2018 title game.
- Although Bertrand has not yet played a second of Division I lacrosse, his name already holds weight around the country. The two-time reigning NCAA Division II USILA National Player of the Year was chosen as the Inside Lacrosse Northeast Conference Preseason Player of the Year. The Baldwinsville, N.Y. native racked up 78 goals and 97 points in just 16 games last season and begins 2020 with 251 career points. He has also notched a point in all 52 career games, which is the longest active streak in Division I lacrosse.
- The NEC Preseason Poll was released Wednesday afternoon by the league. Merrimack was tied with Wagner for fourth in the East division, while Hobart earned all nine first place votes to take the top spot. In the West division, reigning NEC champion Robert Morris earned six first place votes to take the top spot. Saint Joseph’s (3) and Mount St. Mary’s (1) also earned first place votes.
- Mike Morgan enters his 13th season at the helm for the Warriors and has already taken the program to incredible heights. Merrimack reached the NCAA championship game three years in a row to close out its time in NCAA Division II and won the latter two title games. He enters the 2020 campaign with an incredible 164-41 overall record and has won 23 consecutive games at home, which dates back to March 18, 2017.
- The Crusaders finished 7-7 during the 2019 campaign that ended with a 14-5 loss to Army West Point in the Patriot League quarterfinal round. Senior Sean Mullaney returns as the top scorer after he totaled 41 points on the strength of 29 goals and 12 assists. Kevin Kodzis and Justin Lynskey also reached the 30-point plateau and return to Worcester for another year. Dan O’Connell ranked sixth in the nation at the face-off X last season on the strength of his .662 winning percentage and returns for his senior season. Holy Cross is led by Peter Burke, who held the interim tag during the 2019 season and has been on the Crusader staff since 2016.
Inside the Matchup:
|Merrimack (0-0, 0-0 NEC)||Category||Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0 PL)|
|5/26/19 vs Limestone (W, 16-8, NCAA title game)||Recent Games||4/30/19 at Army (L, 14-5, Patriot League Quarterfinal)|
The Warriors are away from game action until Feb. 15 when Dartmouth visits Duane Stadium. Face-off is set for 1 pm.
For continuing coverage of Merrimack College Athletics, visit MerrimackAthletics.com and follow the Warriors on Twitter and on Facebook.