Towler Leads No. 8 Warriors by Hawks in NE-10 Quarterfinals

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. Sophomore midfielder Tim Towler (Topsfield, Mass.) scored a career-high five goals for the hosts, leading third-seeded and No. 8 Merrimack to a 14-6 victory over sixth-seeded Saint Anselm in the opening round of the 2014 Northeast-10 tournament on Tuesday night at Martone-Mejail Field.

Merrimack blew past Saint Anselm, outscoring the Hawks in every quarter in Tuesday's first round, including a 7-2 edge in the first to set the tone.

The took that five-goal lead and made it a seven-goal edge after 30 minutes before both sides traded goals in the third; leading by a 12-5 margin after 45 minutes, Merrimack wrapped up its first postseason victory since a 13-12 NE-10 Semifinal win in 2012 with two more goals in the final frame to account for the final margin of victory.

Towler's five markers led all players on the turf Tuesday and highlighted a group of eight total Warriors who find the twine, including two-goal efforts from junior Andrew Vivian (Slingerlands, N.Y.) and freshman Tucker Schwarz (Tallahassee, Fla.), as well as individual tallies off the sticks of senior Mike Perdie (Wading River, N.Y.), junior Jamie Shand (Massapequa, N.Y.), sophomore Ryan Poirier (Warwick, R.I.), sophomore Scott Corcoran (Haverhill, Mass.), and senior Paul Gallagher (Simsbury, Conn.).

In net, freshman Dom Madonna (Liverpool, N.Y.) improved to 9-2 on the year after posting eight saves, while junior Morgan Green (Portsmouth, R.I.) manned the final 4:45 in net and added three saves in a quick span.

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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. Senior Andrew Messner (Wakefield, R.I.) scored a pair of goals, but the sixth-seeded Saint Anselm lacrosse team fell to third-seeded Merrimack, 14-6, in the first round of the Northeast-10 Championship on Tuesday evening at Martone-Mejail Field.

The Hawks, who were playing in their third straight Northeast-10 Championship, close out their season at 6-9, while the Warriors, who will travel to second-seeded Le Moyne College on Friday at 1:00 p.m., improve to 11-4.

After Jamie Shand began the scoring to put Merrimack on top 3:42 into the contest, senior Matthew Steele (Ipswich, Mass.) won the faceoff and found the back of the net just 15 seconds later to tie the game with 11:03 left in the first quarter.

Ryan Poirier put Merrimack up for good 1:01 later as he set off a run of four straight goals, including a pair from Tim Towler, that made it 5-1 with 4:00 remaining in the opening quarter. Senior Jake Mallinson (Middletown, R.I.) connected on a pass to junior Andy Budz (Williamstown, Mass.), who beat Merrimack goalkeeper Dom Madonna to cut the deficit to three with 2:51 to play. Towler potted his third of the game with 1:22 on the clock and Paul Gallagher tacked another 44 seconds later to widen the gap to 7-2 at the end of the first frame.

After Mike Perdie nudged the lead to six 1:01 into the second quarter, Messner scored his first of the evening to close within 8-3 with 10:03 left. Tucker Schwarz and Towler added strikes in the final 3:14 of the half, however, to send the Warriors into the break with a 10-3 advantage.

Messner opened up the second-half scoring after collecting a feed from classmate Ryan Mee (Medway, Mass.) 2:48 in, but Andrew Vivian scored at 5:26 and set up Schwarz 1:06 later to go up 12-4.

Sophomore Ben Warren (Georgetown, Mass.) found the back of the net with 1:20 left in the third and junior Charles Geraghty (Norwich, Vt.) opened up the fourth-quarter scoring 5:36 in to slice the deficit to 12-6. Vivian and Towler followed with tallies to seal it for the Warriors.

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