Embrace The Championship: Merrimack, Saint Anselm to Square Off in NE10 Men's Lacrosse Title Tilt

Embrace The Championship: Merrimack, Saint Anselm to Square Off in NE10 Men's Lacrosse Title Tilt



Hawks Pull Off Stunner in Syracuse to Advance to NE10 Championship Game

A stunner and a dominant performance were the headlines during the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Lacrosse Semifinals earlier today. Here's how Merrimack and Saint Anselm advanced to Sunday's Championship Final -

#2 Merrimack 17, #3 Adelphi 11

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Second-ranked Merrimack, backed by a Herculean effort by sophomore Charlie Bertrand in particular, powered its way to a 17-11 victory over rival and fourth-ranked Adelphi in the semifinal round of the 2018 NE10 Men's Lacrosse Championship on Friday afternoon at Merrimack Stadium. Coupled with an upset in the other semifinal, Friday's win gave the Warriors the right to host the title game of the league tournament on Sunday against Saint Anselm at 1 p.m.

After an early Adelphi goal put the visitors in front, Merrimack responded with three in succession – one each from sophomore Charlie Bertrand, graduate student John Bassett and senior Kyle Stenberg – to turn a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 lead. But the Panthers scored the final two goals of the quarter, as the two sides found themselves knotted at 3-3 after 15 minutes.

The Warriors flexed their scoring prowess at the start of the second quarter, netting three not even four minutes into the frame to march ahead by a 6-3 margin. Adelphi got as close as two goals, but the Warriors scored four of the final five goals to close out the half and double up the Panthers at the game's midpoint (10-5). The standout statistic of the first half was the fact that Bertrand singlehandedly equaled the Panthers' goal total (5) in the opening 30 minutes.

The Warriors scored five of the first six goals to start the third quarter, with rookie Christian Thomas netting three during that span while Bertrand recorded his eighth point and sixth goal of the game to cap off that run. Adelphi netted a pair in the last few minutes of the frame, but Christian Thomas set up his brother, sophomore Dom Thomas, for a highlight-reel tally with 49 seconds left in the stanza, as Merrimack took an eight-goal lead (16-8) into the final break.

Early penalties gave the Panthers a few chances, including a locked-in penalty for a minute and another minute-long penalty. Adelphi would capitalize on two of those three man-up opportunities to generate a bit of momentum of its own and cut the deficit to six, but Stenberg had an answer to turn the tide back in the hosts' favor. From there on out, the Panthers would only muster one more before the final horn sounded to send the Warriors back to the league title game for the first time in two years.

#5 Saint Anselm 9, #2 Merrimack 8, Final - Overtime

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Taking on the top-ranked program in the country, 17th-ranked Saint Anselm stunned previously-unbeaten Le Moyne by a 9-8 score in overtime on Friday in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals. The Hawks improve to 11-4 on the season and will play in their first-ever NE10 Championship game on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. 

Down by a 2-0 margin shortly into the second quarter, the Hawks fired off seven-straight goals to capture a 7-2 lead with 6:58 left in the third quarter. The Dolphins countered with six of the game's final seven goals in regulation time, including a game-tying strike with 21 seconds left from Justin Kesselring.

Following a failed offensive possession by the Dolphins, the Hawks turned to their offense in the final minute of the first overtime period. Taking advantage of a fallen defender, junior Patrick Sweeney cut from left to right and beat Le Moyne goaltender Jack Sweeney for the game-winning goal with 47 seconds left in overtime.

Junior Anthony Busconi led the way with three goals and an assist for four points. Senior Ryan Hesseltine and Sweeney each scored twice with freshmen Griffin Shoemaker and Matt Ward scoring one goal apiece. Xavier Quinn and Sean Tomaszewski each tallied an assist in the victory.

Hawks netminder Matt Richard made 10 saves in the winning effort. Sweeney yielded nine goals on eight shots while Kyle Lumpe, who earned the win over Saint Anselm during the regular season, played 76 seconds in relief to close out the fourth quarter for the Dolphins.

2018 NE10 Men's Lacrosse Championship Schedule

Tuesday, May 1st      

First Round ­
Game 1: #3 Adelphi 9, #6 Pace 7
Game 2: #5 Saint Anselm 19, #4 Saint Rose 8 

Friday, May 4th  
Game 3: #5 Saint Anselm 9, #1 Le Moyne 8, Final - Overtime
Game 4: #2 Merrimack 17, #3 Adelphi 11 
Sunday, May 6th    
Championship ­- at Merrimack Stadium
Game 5: #2 Merrimack vs. #5 Saint Anselm - 1:00 p.m. 

 - Information for this release provided by the athletic communication staffs at Merrimack and Saint Anselm 

The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete. 

Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.