No. 6 Merrimack Upended by No. 8 NYIT

NORTH ANDOVER, MA The sixth-ranked Merrimack men's lacrosse team suffered just its second home loss in three years, falling to eighth-ranked New York Tech 6-4 in a non-conference matchup at a rainy and windy Warrior Field Wednesday afternoon.

Corey Lunney (Little Silver, NJ) got the Warriors on the board first, but the Bears took control from there, outshooting the hosts 15-4, taking a 3-1 lead behind two goals and an assist from Matt Sullivan. Cory Spinale (Wakefield, MA) had 10 of this 16 saves in the first quarter.

Merrimack cut the lead to 5-3 at the half behind second quarter tallies from Michael Balbuena (Falmouth, MA) and Brad McAdam (Neshanic Station, NJ). New York Tech dominated the X, winning nine of ten first-half draws behind midfielder Peter Raab, who won 10 of 13 draws in the game.

The Warriors controlled possession for most of the third, outshooting the Bears 10-1 but managed just one tally, from Greg Fallon (North Kingstown, RI) set up from Jordan Tiger (Ridgefield, CT) at 13:27 to cut the lead to one.

Merrimack would turn the ball over 11 times in the second half and failed to come up with any prime scoring chances down the stretch as they were held without a goal in the fourth. Bryan Gil pushed the lead back to two, 2:53 into the fourth with what ended up as the final goal of the game.

"We had our chances but we struggled to put the ball in the net," said head coach Mike Morgan. "We turned the ball over too much and they capitalized on their chances. We need to regroup and finish the regular season strong as we head into the playoffs."

McAdam was the lone Warrior who had a multi-point game, netting a goal and an assist to go with eight shots, but just one on goal. In all, Merrimack had 25 shots but just 11 on net. Spinale stopped 16 shots in the loss and had 10 ground balls.

The Merrimack defense caused 12 turnovers, three each from Shane Mahar (Slingerlands, NY) and Peter Schielke (Ridgefield, CT).

Sullivan led the Bears with two goals and two assists, while William McGee had seven saves in the victory.

The loss was just Merrimack's second at home in the last three seasons. The Warriors have never beaten NYIT in five career matchups.

Merrimack (10-3, 8-1 NE-10) concludes the regular season at Assumption on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. They will host a Northeast-10 Semifinal game on Friday, May 7 with the championship slated for Sunday, May 8 at the highest remaining seed.


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