NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team capped its season with a 20-2 loss to No. 2 Merrimack College on Saturday in Merrimack Stadium. The Purple Knights ended up 4-10 overall and 1-10 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Warriors, the 2017 national runners-up, improved to 13-1 and 10-1. Their national ranking is according to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA).
Sophomores Ralph Grillone III (Brockton, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) and Aidan Maron (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) scored for the visitors, while first-year Jon Lockwood (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) had an assist and two ground balls. Sophomore Justin Richmond (New Market, Md./Linganore) was 9-for-20 on faceoffs with five ground balls and one caused turnover, and junior Matt Cotter (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) nabbed five ground balls, passing the 100-ground-ball barrier (104) for his career.
Seniors Colin Cronin (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) and Bobby Frank (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) both finished with two ground balls and a caused turnover, and classmate Neil Gallagher (Stowe, Vt./Green Mountain Valley School) and sophomores Will Moriarty (Ashland, Mass./Catholic Memorial) and Alec Sharlow (Watertown, N.Y./South Jefferson) all added two ground balls.
First-year Dominic Joy (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) made his initial college start and recorded six saves in 24:01 before senior Jake Sonberg (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Guertin) notched two stops in 20:59. First-year Herb Hazelton (Darien, Conn./Brewster Academy) had two saves and a ground ball in the fourth quarter.
First-year Christian Thomas potted a hat trick and four assists for Merrimack, classmate Sean Black had three goals and three helpers, and sophomore Charlie Bertrand notched three goals and two assists. Senior Bailey Walsh also totaled three goals, and classmate Blake Boudreau went 13-for-20 on draws with 10 ground balls. First-year Peter Brown made one save in the opening half before senior Mitch Green had five in the second half.
Merrimack scored three times in an early 1:54 stretch of the first quarter, taking a 3-0 edge on Black's marker at 11:31. After a Thomas goal at 7:07, Grillone converted Lockwood's pass at 1:29 to make it 4-1, but the Warriors accounted for the next nine goals, with their big four scorers notching 11 points. Maron scored off of senior Charlie Murphy's (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) dish with 14 seconds to go in the second period, but Thomas countered nine ticks later to send his team into halftime up 14-2. Merrimack tacked on three goals in the first 4:17 of the third period before being limited to three additional tallies in the final 25:43 of the contest.
Gallagher finished his career with 97 ground balls and tied for fourth in program history with 53 caused turnovers. Frank is seventh with 47 caused turnovers, the most ever by a Purple Knight short stick, while senior Dan Johnson (Ringwood, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) is ninth (37). Classmate Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston), who missed all but the first two games of the year due to injury, ended up fourth in assists (67) and tied for 13th in points (120), within 10 of the top 10 despite playing only 42 games. Frank's 19 caused turnovers this year were the most by a non-long-stick player at the College, while Richmond finished ninth in faceoffs (83).