No. 9 Purple Knights suffer first NE-10 setback, fall to T-No. 7 Merrimack, 10-8

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The ninth-ranked Saint Michael's College men's lacrosse team dropped its first contest since March 16, falling to T-No. 7 Merrimack College, 10-8, in Northeast-10 Conference play on Tuesday at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights, who are ranked in this week's United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) national poll, slip to 10-3 overall and 9-1 in the league, while the Warriors, who are tied for seventh nationally, improve to 10-2 and 9-1.

Senior Marty Vanzo (Westford, Vt./Essex/Vermont) finished with two goals, an assist and five ground balls for Saint Michael's to reach 55 career assists and move into sole possession of fourth place in program history, passing both Mike Boerma '08 (54) and John Leahy '99 (54). Vanzo also recorded the 81st and 82nd goals of his career to move into a tie with Tim Birmingham '02 for ninth on the team's goal scoring list. Junior Evan Antolino (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) had a goal and two assists, and classmate Cooper Quenneville (Shoreham, Vt./Gould Academy) tallied a goal, an assist and five ground balls while winning seven face-offs. Senior Pete Donnally (Madison, N.J./Morristown-Beard School) picked up a goal and an assist to move to 151 career points and surpass Saint Michael's Athletic Hall of Famer Rick Saba '92 (150) for second in program history.

Seniors Max Zuccarini (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) and Asa Sargent (Ripton, Vt./Middlebury Union) and junior Sean Smith (West Islip, N.Y./Saint John the Baptist Diocesan) all scored, with Smith registering the first of his career. Sophomore Luke Solms (Bedford, N.H./Northfield Mount Hermon) totaled five ground balls, senior Neil Kelly (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) caused four turnovers, and junior Chris DeMairo (Bethpage, N.Y./Bethpage) stopped 14 shots.

Senior Corey Lunney (Little Silver, N.J./Red Bank), who entered the game with an NE-10 best 51 points and 39 goals, scored three goals and added an assist for Merrimack, while classmate Mike Perdie (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) and sophomore Kyle Guilbert (North Andover, Mass./Walpole) each had a pair of markers. Senior Greg Melaugh (Billerica, Mass./Billerica) totaled a goal and two assists, junior Brett Axelson (Cazenovia, N.Y./Cazenovia) tallied a goal and an assist, and senior Patrick Coskren (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) posted 11 ground balls and won 14-of-21 draws. Senior Connor Reagan (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) made eight saves.

After Perdie scored for the visitors 43 seconds into the first quarter, Zuccarini and Sargent found the back of the net 3:08 apart to give the Purple Knights a 2-1 lead. Merrimack responded with a pair of markers to close out the frame. Quenneville tallied 47 ticks into the second before Smith scored 1:51 later to put the hosts back up, 4-3. The Warriors converted four of the game's next five goals during a span of 17:22 to grab a 7-5 advantage.

Vanzo cut the deficit to one when he scored 1:58 into the final period, but Lunney added back-to-back goals to increase the visitors' lead to 9-6 with 6:40 remaining. Donnally and Vanzo each scored in the remaining 2:57, but the Purple Knights couldn't come any closer than two goals.

Saint Michael's wraps up its regular season on Saturday when it travels to No. 4 Le Moyne College for a 2 p.m. tilt.