NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Senior Andrew Messner (Wakefield, R.I.) scored a pair of goals, but the sixth-seeded Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team fell to third-seeded Merrimack College, 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 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.
Sophomore James O'Neill (East Walpole, Mass.) stopped 12 of the 26 shots he faced over the first 55:15 of action, while senior Daniel Endicott (Malden, Mass.) turned away the only shot he saw in the final 4:55. Madonna saved eight of the 14 shots that came his way in the first 55:15 and Morgan Green stopped all three shots in the final 4:45.
Merrimack outshot Saint Anselm, 48-34, including 31-13 in the first half. Steele won 12 of 22 faceoffs for the Hawks. Saint Anselm was 0-for-5 with the extra man, while Merrimack went 2-for-4.
This marks the final game for seniors Messner, Mallinson, Mee, Steele, Endicott, Tom Gardner (Salem, N.H.), Sam MacDonald (Hopkinton, Mass.), Griffin Sandler (Bow, N.H.) and Andrew McIntyre (North Andover, Mass.).