NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Trailing by five goals early in the fourth quarter, the No. 6 Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team scored seven of the game’s next eight goals – including the go-ahead tally from senior Michael O’Connell with 48 seconds left – to storm back and stun No. 4 Le Moyne on Saturday at Duane Stadium
The Warriors led for the majority of the first half, but the Dolphins scored three times in a two-minute span late in the second quarter to go in front by a pair. The visitors would build a four-goal lead and then to up, 10-5, with 11:18 to play, but Merrimack would use a 7-1 run over an eight-minute span to post their first home win over Le Moyne in six years and remain unbeaten in league play.
Score: Merrimack 12, Le Moyne 11
Records: #6 Merrimack (4-1, 2-0 NE10) | #4 Le Moyne (6-2, 3-1 NE10)
Location: Duane Stadium | North Andover, Mass.
- Merrimack got off to a quick start with two early goals from junior Charlie Bertrand and sophomore Sean Black before Le Moyne cut the deficit in half. But Bertrand netted his 30th of the year with five minutes to play in the first, and that score went unchanged through the rest of the quarter despite back-to-back late extra-man opportunities for the Dolphins.
- Le Moyne began its rally with an early goal in the second before drawing even with 3:28 left in the half. After the Warriors had led for the majority of the half, the Dolphins took the lead with 1:57 on the clock and then scored again 10 seconds later to suddenly grab a two-goal lead at the halfway point.
- The visitors needed just 18 seconds to go ahead by three goals to start the third quarter, but freshman Max Morrill took a Bertrand pass and buried it to get the hosts back to within two. But the visitors found the back of the net three times in just over a minute to take what was their largest lead of the game at that point (9-4). Black would stop that run with his second of the game late in the third, and the game would enter the final frame with Le Moyne in front by a 9-5 score.
- The fourth quarter saw Le Moyne block a shot and score in transition to match its largest lead of the afternoon (10-5), but the Warriors would mount their late run with a goal from Black and sophomore Christian Thomas to make it a three-goal affair with 7:17 left.
- O’Connell brought the hosts within two just inside the five-minute mark, but Le Moyne answered on the next possession to back up by three (11-8) with 4:07 left.
- That, however, was the last goal for the Dolphins, as Bertrand quickly capitalized on a man-up opportunity off a feed from Christian Thomas at the 3:09 mark before junior Dom Thomas cashed in on an assist by Black to make it a one-goal game a minute later.
- Dom Thomas leveled the score off an O’Connell feed with 1:44 on the clock before O’Connell punched in the game-winner from Christian Thomaswith the Warriors a man up and just 48 seconds left.
- Le Moyne would get the last possession of the game, but senior Ryan Burke forced a takeaway that sealed the dramatic victory.
Notes and Numbers
- Black led all Warriors with five points on a hat trick and two assists, while Bertrand added a hat trick as well as part of a four-point outing.
- Christian Thomas also had four points (1g, 3a), while O’Connell’s three points were one off his season-high. Dom Thomas also had multiple goals (2g) on the afternoon.
- Sophomore Carlin Joyal had five ground balls to lead all Warriors, while Burke finished with two caused turnovers and won six faceoffs.
- Merrimack continued two of the nation’s more impressive win streaks thanks to Saturday’s heroics. The Warriors have now won 18 straight games at home which is still the longest active home winning streak in the country. Merrimack also extended its conference winning streak to 13 straight contests, the longest active streak in the NE10 and third-longest conference winning streak nationally.
- Le Moyne had won eight of the last nine games against Merrimack prior to Saturday and the last three games played in North Andover. Merrimack’s last win at home against the Dolphins was in March of 2013 (5-3).
- Shots: 27-52 (20-31 SOG)
- EMO: 2-6 // 0-5
- Faceoffs: 10-15 // Ground Balls: 26-36
- Turnovers (CT): 16-12 (3-7) // Clears: 19-22 // 12-14
Merrimack will be back at home this Wednesday (March 27) as part of a men’s/women’s doubleheader at Duane Stadium, as the Warriors will take on Bentley at 7 p.m.