Worcester, Mass. (April 26) -- On Senior Day at the Multi-Sport Stadium, the Assumption College men's lacrosse team dropped a 12-7 final to No. 8 ranked Merrimack College in the season finale for the Hounds. Prior to the game, the four senior members of the Assumption College men's lacrosse program were honored for their contributions to the team during their careers.
In a very even game, the Warriors took an early 1-0 lead on an unassisted goal by junior Andrew Vivian, his 17th of the season. Assumption answered with 8:31 left in the first period as sophomore Connor Munisteri (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) took a pass from senior Ian Mack (Avon, Conn./Avon) to tie the game 1-1 after one period. Just 1:27 into the second, Munisteri put the Hounds in front 2-1 as he fired a shot into the upper corner of the net thru traffic for his second goal of the game and 12th of the season.
Merrimack came alive over the remainder of the first half though, ending the period on a 3-0 run to take the 4-2 lead into the third quarter. With eight minutes left, junior Kyle Guilbert caused a turnover, picked up the ground ball and scored to tie the game for the second time at 2-2. Jamie Shand put the Warriors in front with 3:27 left, while Paul Jones came around the net and fired high with 1:52 on the clock for the 4-2 halftime margin.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter as the Warriors got things started on an even-strength goal by Ryan Poirier as he scored on a low shot off a pass from Paul Jones for the 5-2 margin. Junior Paul Curran (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) scored twice and Garrett Smith (East Syracuse, N.Y./East Syracuse Minoa) one in the quarter for the Hounds, who trailed by a 7-5 margin heading into the final quarter. Smith's goal came off a turnover with 9:10 left as Curran got the ball off a pass behind the net and found Smith for a shot from 10 yards out for his 42nd goal of the year. The final goal of the quarter by Assumption also came off a turnover as junior Dan Donovan (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) picked up the ground ball and passed to Smith, who then found Curran with 23.9 seconds left for the two-goal margin.
Merrimack scored twice in a 29-second span in the fourth to extend the lead to 9-5 in favor of the Warriors, but Assumption battled back to close to within two entering the final six minutes of the game. Smith scored his second goal of the game and 43rd of his junior season with 8:20 left off an assist from junior Tim Casey (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) to make it a 9-6 game. Casey caused the turnover in front of the bench, picked up the ground ball and found Smith for the contested shot and goal. Junior Ty Martina (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) completed the scoring in the game for Assumption as he bounced a shot past the Merrimack goalie for the 9-7 margin. Merrimack finished the game on a 3-0 scoring run to come away with the 12-7 final and earn the No. 3 seed in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament.
Smith, Munisteri and Curran all finished with two goals and one assist for Assumption, while Guilbert had three goals and Jones had 2 goals and three assists for Merrimack.
Martina led the Hounds with six ground balls, while sophomore Nick Guarino (Avon, Conn./Avon) finished with five ground balls and won 13-of-22 faceoff chances in the setback.
Senior Matt Palubicki (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) made nine saves in the loss, while freshman Dom Madonna had 10 stops for the Warriors.
For the game, Merrimack held a slight 36-33 edge in shots, while Assumption forced 16 Warrior turnovers and won 13-of-23 faceoffs. Merrimack edged the Hounds 33-32 in ground balls and converted both extra-man opportunities, while Assumption converted 13-of-16 clear opportunities.
With the loss, Assumption ends its season at 5-9 overall and 3-8 in the Northeast-10, while Merrimack improves to 10-4 overall and 9-2 in league play.
For the latest on Assumption College Athletics, follow the Hounds via social media on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. For more information, contact the Office of Athletic Communications at 508-767-7240.