No. 11 Saint Michael's falls in battle of nationally-ranked NE-10 foes, 10-9, at No. 3 Merrimack

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - In a match-up of nationally-ranked men's lacrosse squads, No. 11 Saint Michael's College rallied to within one goal with 1:17 remaining and twice held possession while looking to tie before falling at third-ranked Merrimack College, 10-9, on Wednesday at Martone-Mejail Field. The Purple Knights, now 6-3 overall and 2-3 in the Northeast-10 Conference, have suffered each of their losses by one goal to squads currently ranked among the top 10 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's (USILA) national poll. The Warriors are 7-0 and 4-0.

Senior Max Zuccarini (Medfield, Mass./Medfield/Quinnipiac) netted a hat trick for the visitors, recording their first three goals, while junior Marty Vanzo (Westford, Vt./Essex/Vermont) scored twice. Senior Paul Tortora Jr. (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Prep) had a goal and an assist, while sophomore Cooper Quenneville (Shoreham, Vt./Gould Academy) went 4-for-6 on face-offs. Classmate Chris DeMairo (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) made 13 saves.

Junior Corey Lunney (Little River, N.J./Red Bank) scored three times for Merrimack, classmate Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) netted a pair, and senior Nick Maggio (Winchester, Mass./New Hampton School) was 15-of-23 on draws. Freshman Morgan Green (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth Abbey School) turned aside 14 shots.

Behind Zuccarini's markers, the Purple Knights held a 3-2 lead at 10:16 of the second period before senior Christian Cook (South Burlington, Vt./New Hampton School) netted a tally at 7:42 to make it 4-2. However, the Warriors knotted the contest by 5:57, and Melaugh's goal at 13:26 of the third period gave his team a 5-4 edge.

Saint Michael's forged back in front thanks to three straight goals midway through the third, as sophomore Tim McDonald (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) and Tortora capped the run with markers nine seconds apart, and the visitors led, 7-5, with 7:47 left. However, four different Merrimack players scored during a 4-0 stretch that gave the hosts the lead for good.

Vanzo converted at 10:22 of the fourth quarter to close the gap to 10-9 before the Warriors countered at 8:02. Vanzo found the back of the net again on a man-up opportunity with 1:17 remaining, and Quenneville won the ensuing face-off before the visitors turned the ball over. They regained possession in the final 10 seconds but could not fire a tying try.

The Purple Knights' stretch of facing three consecutive nationally-ranked squads concludes on Saturday when they head to No. 6 Adelphi University for a 12 p.m. game. The Panthers advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament title game.