ALBANY, N.Y. – The No. 7 Merrimack College men’s lacrosse program scored five goals or more in three out of four quarters to propel itself to a 21-9 victory over the College of Saint Rose in the Warriors’ Northeast-10 Conference opener on Saturday at Sullivan Field at the Plumeri Sports Complex.
Junior Charlie Bertrand had another big day on offense with seven goals and eight total points while representing one of four players who had two caused turnovers for the Warriors. On the other end, junior goalkeeper Nick Ponte, who made his first start of the season in net, finished with 16 saves on 25 shots for an impressive afternoon between the pipes.
The win was also the 150th in the career of head coach Mike Morgan, who moved to 150-39 all-time in 12 seasons (.794).
Score: Merrimack 21, Saint Rose 9
Records: #7 Merrimack (3-1, 1-0 NE10) | Saint Rose (1-4, 0-3 NE10)
Location: Sullivan Field | Albany, N.Y.
- Bertrand opened up the scoring right away with a goal less than a minute into the game. Saint Rose tied it up a minute later, but that was the closest the hosts got the rest of the way. Three uninterrupted tallies from sophomore Sean Black, Bertrand and freshman Max Morrill pushed the lead to 4-1 before senior Michael O’Connell and junior Dom Thomas sandwiched another Saint Rose marker to give Merrimack a 6-2 lead near the midpoint of the opening frame.
- Following another Bertrand marker in the waning moments of the first quarter, the Golden Knights opened the second frame with their third goal in a six-minute span to cut the lead down to two (7-5).
- That, however, was answered by three straight from the Warriors, with Black, O’Connell and sophomore Christian Thomas leading the way while Ponte made several big saves during that span to keep the Warriors comfortably ahead. Saint Rose got one last marker to end the half with Merrimack leading by four (10-6).
- The hosts would not go quietly, as Saint Rose opened the third quarter with a goal and capitalized on a man-up opportunity get within striking distance at 10-8 with over 11 minutes to go in the frame.
- That, however, was the closest the game would get over the remainder of the afternoon, as the Warriors would end the contest on an 11-1 scoring run.
- Bertrand started things off with his fourth of the day before Morrill and O’Connell pushed the lead to five (13-8), matching what was, at that point, the Warriors’ best advantage. Bertrand would pile on two more to close out the third, one of the man-up variety, to give the Warriors a 15-8 edge entering the final 15 minutes of play.
- Christian Thomas took a Bertrand feed and buried it early in the fourth before rookie Jake Holava got involved on the offensive barrage with his second of the season. Two more freshmen – Lance Crate and Brennan McInnis – would record their first collegiate tallies before Morrill added one more marker with 3:27 to play, as the Warriors would hit the 20-goal threshold for the second time this season when all was said and done.
Notes and Numbers
- Bertrand’s eight points led all players, as he led Merrimack in scoring for the fourth straight game to start the year on the strength of his seven goals – one off his personal best. He scored on 7-of-12 shot attempts and put 10 of those attempts on net while adding two ground balls and causing two turnovers.
- Christian Thomas (2g, 3a), Black (2g, 2a), O’Connell (3g, 1a) and Morrill (3g) all had three points or more, as well, to round out the Warriors’ array of offensive stars on Saturday.
- Merrimack forced 14 of Saint Rose’s 20 turnovers on Saturday, the most in a single game for the Warriors this season. Bertrand, Black, sophomore Carlin Joyal and freshman Nicholas Perez-Blanco had two apiece, while Perez-Blanco’s four ground balls led all non-faceoff specialists.
- Merrimack improved to 8-0 all-time against Saint Rose with its eighth straight victory in the series, while the Warriors won their 12th straight game in conference play, extending the longest streak in the NE10 for consecutive conference victories (fourth-longest nationally).
- Shots: 40-41 (32-25 SOG)
- EMO: 3-8 // 1-4
- Faceoffs: 13-20 // Ground Balls: 37-47
- Turnovers (CT): 13-20 (14-4) // Clears: 13-19 // 10-16
Merrimack returns home for the first time since the season opener when it hosts rival Le Moyne in a highly anticipated conference clash next Saturday (March 23). Game time from Duane Stadium is 1 p.m.