NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Highlighted by home games against two NCAA Tournament qualifiers and bouts against four of the region’s top six teams from a year ago, the defending national champion Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team announced its full 2019 schedule on Thursday.
Links: 2019 Schedule
“Our goal, year in and year out, is to put ourselves in the best possible position to qualify for the national tournament,” head coach Mike Morgan said. “I don’t think there’s any denying the overall body of work that this year’s schedule will present. Knowing that we’ll play four of the top six schools in the region – two of them on the road – will be an excellent barometer for the type of team we believe we can be. We’re excited for one last go-around in the Northeast-10 Conference, where we know we’ll get every team’s best game day in and day out, as we aim to finish on top once again before starting a new challenge next fall.”
The Warriors will host a familiar foe to start the year, as Merrimack will welcome NYIT back to campus on Feb. 23 for the first time since the two teams met in the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA Tournament in May. The Warriors beat the Bears twice last season – once in the season opener and then again in the national quarterfinals, the latter meeting in emphatic fashion.
Merrimack then will hit the road for four straight to start the month of March, with trips to Lake Erie (3/3), LIU Post (3/9), Saint Rose (3/16) and American International (3/17). The Storm were on the cusp of qualifying for last year’s NCAA Championship and finished 11-2 overall, with one of those losses coming against Merrimack. The Pioneers also won double-digit games and should be another prime regional road matchup for the Warriors, who then open their conference schedule with back-to-back games against the Golden Knights and Yellow Jackets.
One of the most anticipated regular season matchups of the spring will occur at Duane Stadium on March 23, when the Warriors welcome Le Moyne to town for what could be the final clash of two NE10 titans. The Dolphins were the only team to hand Merrimack a loss last season, adding extra motivation to what has become one of the best rivalries in Division II men’s lacrosse.
Merrimack will stay at home to take on Bentley (3/27) in its lone night game in North Andover this spring before opening April with a trip up to Manchester to take on Saint Anselm College in a rematch of last year’s NE10 Tournament title game. The Hawks were one of the major surprises of last season when they stunned Le Moyne in the semifinal round of the league tournament and qualified for the championship game for the first time ever.
Merrimack will host Southern New Hampshire on April 6 before taking on the last of the three New Hampshire-based NE10 schools with a trip to Franklin Pierce four days later. The Warriors will host Pace on Alumni Day (4/13) before concluding its home regular season slate on Senior Night against Assumption (4/16).
The final two road games will take the Warriors to Long Island for another rivalry matchup against Adelphi (4/20) before heading up to Vermont to round out the regular season at Saint Michael’s (4/23).
The 2019 NE10 Championship will once again feature the top-six teams, with the No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed earning first-round byes while the remaining four seeds battle in the league quarterfinals on Saturday, April 27. The conference semifinals will be held on Tuesday, April 30, and the last two teams standing will square off in the 2019 NE10 Championship Final on Saturday, May 4, at the site of the highest remaining seed.