PAINESVILLE, OHIO – For the first 45 minutes of action Saturday evening (March 16), the Lake Erie College men's lacrosse team seemed in control before a 5-0 run by seventh-ranked Merrimack College lifted the visitors to an 11-10 nonconference victory in the Storm's home opener at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium.
Lake Erie (3-1) led 8-5 late in the third quarter before Brett Axelson scored with one second remaining in the period to cut the margin to two heading into the final frame. Merrimack (1-1) then scored four goals in the first half of the fourth period – two each by Greg Melaugh and Corey Lunney – to take a 10-8 lead.
Senior Josh Becker (Salamanca, N.Y./Salamanca) scored twice in the final six minutes for the Storm, sandwiched around a Jamie Shand goal for Merrimack. Becker also had a final shot on goal with 12 seconds to go that would have tied the game, but Connor Reagan came up with his 10th and final save of the game to secure the win for the Warriors and deliver Lake Erie's first loss of the season.
Junior Reagan Harding (Saskatoon, Sask./Bishop Jones Mahoney) scored twice and assisted on another goal in the first quarter as Lake Erie took a 3-1 lead. Three late second-quarter goals gave the Storm a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Becker finished with three goals and an assist to lead Lake Erie while Harding finished with four points. Senior Keegan Bal (Coquitlam, B.C./Centennial Secondary) also scored twice for the Storm.
Lunney scored four goals to lead the Warriors while Shand and Melaugh each scored twice.
Freshman Tom Lipomi (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) made eight saves in goal for the Storm.
Lake Erie opens ECAC Division II Lacrosse League play Wednesday night, March 20, at Wheeling Jesuit University.