GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Paced by a stretch of 11 uninterrupted goals that spanned from the sixth minute of the game all the way to halftime, allowing the visitors to build a 10-goal lead that would prove to be insurmountable, the fourth-ranked Merrimack College men's lacrosse team made history by punching its ticket to the NCAA tournament final by virtue of a 17-9 victory over No. 3 Adelphi on Saturday afternoon at Motamed Field. The Warriors will be making their first-ever appearance in the national championship game, which will be played next Sunday (May 28) at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, at 2 p.m.
Oh baby! We're goin' to the 'ship!! pic.twitter.com/nYBPGzs7do— MC Men's Lacrosse (@MerrimackMLAX) May 20, 2017
- After Adelphi scored the game's first goal, Merrimack seized the momentum by reeling off four straight over the remainder of the opening stanza, with two tallies coming from rookie Charlie Bertrand to stake the visitors a 4-1 lead after 15 minutes.
- That momentum surge continued in the second, as the Warriors padded their lead with seven more uninterrupted tallies, running their total run to 11-0 to open up a 10-goal halftime lead. Only one Adelphi shot reached goalkeeper Edward Hellier in the frame, which he stopped, while Merrimack committed no turnovers compared to Adelphi's four.
- The third quarter featured the most combined goals in the game with both teams combining for nine tallies, as the Warriors answered all but one of Adelphi's five goals to take a nine-score lead (15-6) heading into the final frame.
- Two quick goals from the hosts and then another man-up tally brought the Panthers within six goals (15-9) with just over five minutes to play, but that was the closest the hosts would get, as Merrimack iced the game and clinched its trip to the national championship game by scoring the final two tallies to account for the final margin of victory.
Highlights and notables
- In its fourth NCAA tournament in program history, Merrimack will be making its first-ever appearance in the national championship game next Sunday. The Warriors will be playing for the program's first-ever national title and will be bidding to become the third program in school history to win a national championship (men's ice hockey – 1978; softball – 1994).
- The last varsity program from Merrimack to advance to a national championship game was the field hockey team in 2015 (L, 1-0 to East Stroudsburg/OT).
- Merrimack tied its single-season wins record with its 15th victory of the season, marking the second straight year in which it hit that threshold.
- Bertrand and senior captain Tim Towler each led the offense with four goals apiece, while Bertrand led all players with a career-high-tying six points (4g, 2a). It marked Bertrand's 12th hat trick of the season and Towler's seventh.
- Junior Kyle Stenberg also had a hat trick and shared the game's scoring lead with a career-high-tying six points, which included a career-best three helpers, while senior captain Max Allen finished with a season-high five points (2g, 3a).
- Sophomore Joey Diaco tied his career high with two goals as well, while senior John Bassett and sophomore Seamus Ford also had two points on a goal and an assist.
- The 17 goals were the most allowed by the Panthers in a single game this season.