NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Powered by a six-goal performance and another pair of hat tricks and a stellar defensive effort, the sixth-ranked Merrimack College extended its season-opening unbeaten streak to four games after a 14-4 rout against Northeast-10 Conference foe Pace on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon at Martone-Mejail Field.
Score: #6 Merrimack 14, Pace 4
Records: #6 Merrimack (4-0, 3-0 NE-10) | Pace (2-2, 0-1 NE-10)
Location: Martone-Mejail Field | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
In a game that it never trailed in, Merrimack built itself a two-goal lead through the first quarter before tallying two more in the second to stake itself a 4-2 lead at the half. From there on out, Pace would score only twice more while the Warriors added 10 in the final 30 minutes as part of a 10-goal victory.
Leading scorers and sophomores Tucker Schwarz (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Max Allen (West Caldwell, N.J.) continued their torrid starts to the year with a pair of goals in the first before senior Jamie Shand (Massapequa, N.Y.) and Allen scored back-to-back midway through the second, sandwiched between a pair of Pace markers, to give the home side a 4-2 edge at halftime.
Schwarz fed Allen early in the third quarter to up the lead to three (5-2) but Pace was quick to answer to get back to within two. That was quickly answered by sophomore John Bassett (Clifton Park, N.Y.), whose second and third career goals, respectively, pushed the Warrior lead to four. Pace had one last answer with 6:47 left in the period before Allen and Schwarz found the back of the net with 2:55 and 16 seconds, respectively, to go in the third, as Merrimack carried a 9-4 advantage into the final break.
Already enjoying a stellar day through the first 45 minutes, the Warrior backline absolutely shined in the final 15 minutes, holding the Setters goalless while forcing three of the 12 caused turnovers on the afternoon in a stellar display of defense. Junior captain Scott Corcoran (Haverhill, Mass.) caused a team-high four turnovers on the day, while seniorOwen Jarem (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and junior Tom McLaughlin (Billerica, Mass.) added two themselves.
Meanwhile in the fourth, Allen (2), Schwarz, Bassett and junior Evan Zakow (South Huntington, N.Y.) rounded out the scoring to account for the 14 final Merrimack tallies.
Inside The Numbers
- In addition to the five different goal-scorers, Shand (2), Schwarz (2), junior Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass) (1) and Bassett (1) posted assists on the night, while Allen led all scorers with his third six-goal performance of the year
- In net, sophomore Dom Madonna (Liverpool, N.Y.) posted a season-high 12 saves, while his counterpart Michael Bonitatibus turned away 18
- Merrimack outshot Pace, 55-29, putting 32 on net while also going 2-for-7 with the man advantage and keeping the Setters off the board on their three extra-man opportunities
- Pace won13-of-21 faceoffs but Merrimack held a 40-21 command in ground balls and was successful on 22-of-23 clears
Merrimack will enjoy a weeklong break before hitting the road against arguably its toughest opponent to date, as the Warriors return to Long Island for a rematch of last year’s NE-10 Championship Final against third-ranked Adelphi next Saturday (March 21) at 1 p.m.