Reagan's 24 Stops Help Merrimack Trip Le Moyne
from press release
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Behind a career-high 24 saves from senior goaltender Connor Reagan (East Lyme, CT), the #5 Merrimack men's lacrosse team upset the No. 1 Le Moyne Dolphins 5-3 at Martone-Mejail Field on Tuesday afternoon. The win over a No. 1 opponent is the first at Merrimack since the women's basketball team defeated No. 1 Franklin Pierce during the 2009-10 season.
The win for Merrimack snaps Le Moyne's 59 game regular season conference winning streak. The Warriors handed the Dolphins their last conference loss during the 2007 campaign. The loss also snaps the Dolphins 33 game regular season winning streak.
#5 Merrimack (3-1, 2-0 NE-10) will travel to take on Saint Rose on Saturday at 1 p.m. in another Northeast-10 Conference tilt.
The Merrimack defense was the difference in the game on Tuesday night as they forced 13 Le Moyne turnovers and held the Dolphins scoreless for 44:43 between the end of the first period and their final goal of the game with 3:54 in the fourth.
Jamie Shand (Massapequa, NY) came up with his second game-winning goal of the young season as he took a Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) pass and found his way to the front of the net where he beat Jeff White from point blank range. Shand scored his man up marker after a Aaron Cahill pushing penalty with 5:47 to play in the game.
The Warriors had three players record at least two points in the victory on Tuesday including Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass.) who finished with a goal and two assists. Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) continued to play at a high level for the Warriors as he finished with two goals while Perdie finished off his afternoon with two assists. Brett Axelson (Cazenovia, NY) was all over in the second half, drawing multiple penalties and scoring the Warriors final goal of the game.
The Dolphins opened up the scoring early in the first period as Joe Corapi scored his 10th goal of the season less than four minutes into action. Le Moyne extended their lead to 2-0 later in the first on the man up opportunity as Nate Frechette beat Reagan for his 15th tally of the season.
The two teams went scoreless in the second period but the Dolphins took a slashing call in the dying seconds of the half to give Merrimack the man up opportunity coming out of the locker room at half. After 30 minutes of play, the Dolphins held the 36-11 advantage in shots.
Merrimack finally got on the board 29 seconds into the third period on the man up chance as Lunney buried his team-high 13th goal of the season off of a Melaugh feed, making the score 2-1 in favor of the visitors. More than 12 minutes later, the Warriors tied the score at 2-2 with another Lunney marker, this time from Perdie with 2:17 to play in the third.
The Warriors took their first lead of the contest with just 54 seconds to play in the third after a great defensive effort forced a Le Moyne turnover in the Merrimack zone. The ball found the stick of Brandon Waiter (Westport, CT) who made a perfect long feed to a cutting Melaugh who hit the cross bar and crossed the line for his ninth goal of the season.
Shand extended the Warriors lead to two just over nine minutes into the final frame with a nice move to the front of the net, making the score 4-2. The Dolphins wasted no time responding with their first goal in over 44 minutes as Alex Westerhoff scored on the man up opportunity with 3:54 to play in the game.
40 seconds after the Dolphins drew within one goal, Axelson took things into his own hands and took a perfect feed from Melaugh and beat White with a crafty in close move to make the score 5-3 in favor of the home team.
The Warriors defense stayed tough down the stretch and the Warriors preserved their first home win of the season over the #1 team in the country. For the game, Le Moyne outshot the Warriors 50-32 but the Warriors held the 21-14 advantage in the second half of play. Merrimack finished going 17-for-18 on their clearing attempts while the Dolphins struggled going 11-for-18. Merrimack finished 2-for-5 in their man up chances while the Dolphins were held to 2-for-9 in their opportunities.
Defensively, Merrimack was led by Waiter who finished the game with four ground balls and a caused turnover while junior Jimmy Holland (Billerica, Mass.) finished off his nice afternoon with three ground balls and one caused turnover. In net, Reagan made a career-high 24 saves and also scooped up a team-high five ground balls while Patrick Coskren (Norwood, Mass.) finished his game going 5-for-11 in the faceoff circle against the best faceoff specialist in the country.