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Thomas’ Career Day Lifts Men’s Lacrosse Past LIU

Links: Box Score | Highlights

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.Christian Thomas was too much for the LIU defense Saturday afternoon at Duane Stadium, as the senior tallied six goals to drive the Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team’s 14-10 win over the Sharks.  

Thomas scored four of his goals in the second half, including a fourth quarter hat trick, to keep the visitors from getting back in the game. Jack Rooney, Tommy Rooney and Max Morrill also drove the offensive attack with two goals apiece.

In the cage, Henry Vogt was stellar once again. The freshman made 14 saves in the game and had a trio in the closing minutes to seal the victory.

The loss is the first of the season for the Sharks in conference play, who entered with a 4-0 mark in the NEC.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 14, LIU 10
Records: Merrimack (3-4, 2-3 NEC) | LIU (5-2, 4-1 NEC)

Rapid Recap

  • The Sharks got on the board first just over two minutes into the game, but the Warrior defense responded to flip momentum in Merrimack’s favor. LIU was held off the scoreboard by Vogt and the Warriors for nearly a full 15 minutes after the opening goal and it paved the way for a Merrimack lead.
  • Five minutes after LIU took the lead, Grant Laman knotted the teams at one when he got loose on the near side and fired home a tight angle shot for his fourth of the season. Merrimack needed just 38 seconds after that to grab the lead when Morrill found the back of the net. 
  • The teams played scoreless for the remainder of the first quarter, then the Sharks quickly grabbed the lead back in the opening five minutes of the second on a pair of goals.
  • While the opening five minutes of the quarter were owned by the Sharks, the final 10 were dominated by the Warriors. Tommy Rooney scored his first of the day with 7:21 to play when he wheeled around to the far side of the zone and bounced home a lefty shot. Jack Rooney followed that up two minutes later with a finish of his own to put the Warriors in front to stay. 
  • Thomas started to take over the game in the latter stages of the second quarter. He got loose in front with 2:44 to play and deposited home a precise pass from Sean Black. Then, in the final minute, he had a highlight reel goal when he received a tightly contested pass from Tommy Rooney, spun around and fired home a diving goal. 
  • The Sharks looked to quickly find their way back into the game at the beginning of the third quarter with two goals in the opening 1:04, but the hosts quickly put a stop to that.
  • Tommy Rooney pushed the lead back to two at 12:24, then Thomas completed his hat trick 14 seconds later with a laser of a shot off a pass from Brennan McInnis. Drew Hailey completed a 3-0 run a minute later with his ninth on the season to put the advantage at 9-5. 
  • LIU started to claw back in the game in the final 10 minutes of the third with a trio of goals sandwiched around Jack Rooney’s second of the day.
  • The Sharks brought the deficit to one at 10:53 of the fourth, but Thomas responded a couple minutes later with another unbelievable finish. He took a pass from Jack Rooney and spun for a backhanded rip that just snuck under the bar. 
  • It took just 21 seconds for LIU to make it a one-goal game again, but the Warriors shut them down after.
  • Morrill netted his second of the day at 6:45, then Thomas all but put the dagger in the heart with his fifth of the afternoon at 3:23. 
  • Thomas put the icing on the cake of his exceptional game with his sixth of the afternoon with 17 seconds to play on an empty cage to finish the scoring.

Notes and Numbers

  • The six goals tied Thomas’ single game career-high that he set back on May 12, 2018. It’s his single game career-high for a Division I game. He now has 113 career goals, which is sixth in Warrior history and just eight behind Greg Melaugh ’13 for fifth.
  • Jack Barron had a great effort in the midfield. He led all Warriors with four ground balls and won four of his seven faceoffs.
  • Thomas, Tommy Rooney, Nicholas Perez-Blanco and Christian Glover all had two caused turnovers.
  • Vogt is now tied for fourth in the NEC with his .548 save percentage and is second in the nation among rookies.
  • Shots: 39-35 Merrimack (26-24 SOG)
  • EMO: Merrimack: 0-4 // LIU: 1-1
  • Faceoffs: 18-10 LIU // Ground Balls: 33-27 LIU
  • Turnovers (CT): 20-18 Merrimack (11-10 LIU) // Clears: Merrimack: 18-21 // LIU: 16-19

Up Next
The Warriors hit the road to Emmitsburg, Md. Apr. 10 battle Mount St. Mary’s. Face-off is slated for 1:00 pm.      

For continuing coverage of Merrimack College Athletics, visit MerrimackAthletics.com and follow the Warriors on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.

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