NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The nationally-regarded Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team opened its season with a loss at No. 3 Merrimack College, 20-6, on Tuesday evening at Martone-Mejail Field in Northeast-10 Conference action. The Purple Knights were receiving votes toward the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll, while the Warriors are 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the league. Merrimack advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament Final Four.
Saint Michael's sophomore Brian Loughlin (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) netted three goals for his first collegiate hat trick, while senior Jamie McGill (Needham, Mass./Needham), junior Taylor Wallace (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) and first-year Cameron Jung (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet Regional) all scored once. Sophomore Spencer Ralston (Hebron, Conn./Cushing Academy) went 7-of-12 on faceoffs with three ground balls, while senior Mark Yetter (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery/Delaware) added an assist and three ground balls. Classmate T.J. Bicknell (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) made seven saves over 19:48 during two different stints, and sophomore Matt Hanley (Plainview, N.Y./Bethpage) had 13 stops and three ground balls.
Junior Max Allen had three goals and two assists for the hosts, while junior John Bassett and sophomore Dean Prouty added two markers and two helpers apiece. Classmate Sam Ventresca recorded 11 saves in the first three quarters to collect the win before a pair of relief netminders totaled two fourth-period stops.
Wallace scored the first goal of the game with 9:23 remaining in the opening quarter to provide the visitors with an edge, but Merrimack responded with five goals in an ensuing 2:33 stretch to kick off a 7-0 run that took 6:07 to elapse. Prouty had two goals while five other Warriors scored. Prouty assisted junior Jack Trask at 9:47 of the second quarter to cap an 11-0 stretch that countered Wallace's opening marker, and McGill scored a man-up tally off of Yetter's feed at 8:35 to get Saint Michael's back in the scoring column.
Between the beginning of the third period and the middle of the fourth, the Purple Knights were edged just 5-4, with Loughlin scoring twice in the third and once in the fourth, including 18 seconds after Jung potted his initial collegiate marker at 7:47 of the final period. Merrimack tacked on the final two goals in the closing five minutes.
Saint Michael's hosts Franklin Pierce University for its home opener on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Ravens are receiving votes toward the latest New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) poll.