Rich Leads No. 3 Limestone Past No. 4 Merrimack
from press release
BALTIMORE, Md. – Senior attack Corey Rich (Sacramento, Calif.) exploded for eight points as No.3 Limestone (7-0, 2-0 CC) delivered a thrilling come-from-behind victory over No. 4 Merrimack (0-1, 0-0 NE-10) in a neutral site NCAA Division II men's lacrosse game on Saturday, March 9. That win avenges last year's 12-11 loss, one of just two on the season.
Trailing 8-7 with 3:11 left in the third quarter, Corey Rich began a streak for the ages as he notched the tying goal with 27 seconds left in the period. Following a goal by the Warriors' Greg Melaugh that put Merrimack up 9-8 at the 11:49 mark of the fourth, it would be all Saints, or perhaps more accurately, all Rich.
Down late, Rich came through in the clutch, drilling the tying goal at 7:40 and then, not satisfied with that, rifled home the go-ahead goal just 31 seconds later to give Limestone a 10-9 advantage. He wasn't done leading the comeback as found one of the top scorers in the country in Loewen for another goal at 5:06 for a two goal lead.
The Saints were far from done but it would be junior attack Todd Nakasuji's (Ajax, Ontario, Canada) turn, with a little more help from Rich, as he provided instant offense. Following another faceoff win by senior face-off specialist Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.) that put the ball back in the hands of Limestone's potent offense, Nakasuji made it count, taking a pass from Rich and leaving it in the back of the net at the 4:53 mark.
It would take just nine seconds as one pass from the faceoff and a Nakasuji laser shot made it 13-9 and all but put the game away. Melaugh would chime in once more with an unassisted goal at 2:24 to reach the final margin of 13-10.
Rich clearly led the attack for the Saints with five goals and three assists to along with three groundballs while senior attack Riley Loewen (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada) finished with two goals, a pair of assists and five groundballs. Giving the Saints offense the ball a career-high 22 times out of 27 was senior face-off specialist Jake Ternosky (LaFayette, N.Y.). He also posted a career-best 11 groundballs on the day.
Adding to the offense eruption were senior midfielder Zach Cummings (Crownsville, Md.) and Todd Nakasuji, both of whom had a pair of goals and an assist. Senior midfielder Tor Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada) dished out two assists and his brother, freshman midfielder Reid Reinholdt (Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada), finished with an assist and eight groundballs.
Senior midfielder Ahmaad Simmons (Baltimore City, Md.) picked up six groundballs and added a pair of caused turnovers and senior goalkeeper Christian Dzwileski (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) played a strong game in goal, allowing 10 goals and making 11 saves to improve to a perfect 6-0 on the year.
Prior to the fireworks over the final 15:27, neither team could gain a significant advantage as Merrimack opened the game with a goal at 12:21 before three straight scores by the Saints made it 3-1 with 4:26 left in the first. Tewaaraton nominee Corey Lunney pulled the Warriors to within one at 3-2 near the beginning of the second before it turned into a game of "can you top this".
Following that goal, Loewen connected off a pass from Cummings for a two goal lead which Lunney then promptly erased with back-to-back scores in 18 seconds. Tied at 4-4 with 4:05 left in the first half, Corey Rich got his first of the day for a 5-4 lead a minute later but it would be Merrimack's Melaugh that delivered consecutive scores this time, giving the Warriors a 6-5 advantage near the start of the third quarter.
Rich got his second of the game at 9:18 to tie and goals by MC's Jamie Shand and the Saints Zach Cummings then left it deadlocked at 7-7. A third goal by Melaugh then set the stage for Limestone's wild and triumphant finish.
Melaugh led the way for Merrimack with a team-high four goals along with four groundballs while Corey Lunney had three goals, an assist and three groundballs. Mike Perdie finished with a goal and two assists and Shand had a goal and assist. Paul Gallagher added a solo score and Brandon Waiter had one assist to wrap up the offensive production. Connor Reagan played all 60 minutes between the pipes, getting dinged for all 13 goals while making 14 saves. Of that number 12 came in the first half with one each in the third and fourth.
Limestone will be right back in the Baltimore, Maryland area a week from today for an even tougher contest as they face northern rival No. 2 Le Moyne (4-0, 2-0 NE-10) on Saturday, March 16. That is a game that features a 2012 NCAA National Semifinal rematch that saw the Saints end the Dolphins undefeated season on the home field a year ago. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at St. Paul's School.
Limestone is now 3-1 all-time against Merrimack dating back to 1994 ... after winning the first two meetings by impressive scores (22-5 in 1994 and 21-7 in 1997), the Saints dropped a 12-11 decision last year in Baltimore.