#5 Adelphi Tops Merrimack to Win the NE-10 Title

Garden City, N.Y. - Northeast-10 tournament MVP Eric Janssen made 20 stops to lead Adelphi to its first Northeast-10 championship with a 13-8 victory over Merrimack on Motamed Field, Sunday, May 8. With the victory the second seeded Panthers improve to a program best 15-2 overall, while Merrimack closes out the season at 11-6.

Joe Vitale and Tommy Susko led the Panthers offensively, Vitale had six points on three goals and three assists, while Susko had five points on four goals and one assist. Shane Wynn was the only other Panther in double figures with two points (2G), while six players tallied one point.

Jesse Colamussi won nine face-offs for the Panthers and grabbed five ground balls, while Danny Blau led all players with nine ground ball pick-ups. Janssen made a career-high 20 stops and collected six ground balls.

Adelphi and Merrimack traded goals to open the first quarter of play, leaving the game with a tie score at one with 10 minutes on the clock. The game would remain deadlocked until Vitale netted his first goal of the afternoon with 4:30 on the clock to give Adelphi a, 2-1 edge heading into the second quarter.

Vitale scored again to open the second period, pushing the Panthers ahead by two goals, 3-1. Merrimack answered back with two goals of their own as Michael Balbuena and Mike Perdie found the back of the net, knotting the action at three all with 9:09 on the clock.

However, Adelphi answered back with two goals of their own, getting scores from Kieran Riegel and Timothy Aiello to claim a 5-3 advantage heading into halftime. The Panthers kept the momentum going in the third period as Susko and Wynn found the back of the Warrior net, doubling Adelphi's edge to 7-3 with 10:18 left in the third.

Merrimack scored their fourth goal of the contest at the 8:53 mark, but Adelphi shut the door with two more goals, the second coming from Kevin Kennedy with just 27 seconds on the clock to put the Panthers on top, 9-4.

The Warriors would rally in the fourth quarter, pulling to within three, 9-6 with 10:26, but Adelphi came up with another answer. This time in the form of three straight goals, as Blau, Wynn and Susko buried Merrimack under a six goal deficit, 12-6, with 4:33 left in the game.

Merrimack out shot the Panthers, 48-37, and won more face-offs 15-10, but Adelphi grabbed more ground balls, 42-37 and took advantage of the extra man better, 2-4 compared to 1-5.

In addition to Tournament MVP and All-Tourney selection Janssen, Susko and Daniel Gill were also honored with inclusion.

The Panthers will now wait to hear if they are one of four teams selected to the NCAA Division II National Championship field, which will be announced tonight at 6:00 pm on NCAA.com.

* * * *

GARDEN CITY, NY Merrimack 's quest to repeat as Northeast-10 Tournament Champions was dashed on Sunday as #5 Adelphi won its first NE-10 title, defeating the Warriors 13-8 at Motamed Field.

Merrimack finishes the 2011 campaign with an 11-6 record after seeing its season-high four-game winning streak snapped. Adelphi, which finished second in the conference in the regular season, notched its first NE-10 title in its second year in the league. The Panthers will await Sunday night's NCAA Selection Show to see if they are selected to the NCAA Final Four.

The NE-10 Goalkeeper of the Year Eric Janssen was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Mike Perdie (Wading River, NY) and Phil Ketrelakes (Peabody, MA) represented Merrimack on the NE-10 All-Tournament team.

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2011-05-08



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