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May 1, 2014

Merrimack, Le Moyne, ready for another round

Maturing Warriors set for playoff matchup vs. mighty Le Moyne

NORTH ANDOVER – It might not have the long storied history of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry, but in New England college lacrosse circles the Merrimack College-Le Moyne matchup tomorrow in Syracuse, N.Y. has its fair share of competitiveness and drama.

While the No. 1 ranked Le Moyne squad appears to be a big favorite in the Northeast-10 semifinal against the Warrriors, the recent matchups prove otherwise.

The Warriors traveled to the Dolphins earlier this season, on March 25, losing 16-9. It was just the seventh game of the season for Merrimack’s large freshman class, which includes leading scorer Tucker Schwarz.

But since that loss, the Warriors are 6-1 in their last seven games, losing only to Adelphi, which at the time was ranked No. 1 in the nation until it lost to the New York Institute of Technology last week. The Warriors enter the game ranked No. 8 nationally in Division 2.

“I’m not sure we were ready for that first game (against Le Moyne),” said junior captain Brandon Waiter. “I definitely think, at this point, that we’re more seasoned. That first game against them was a tough road game and we have a young team, so I think we were still trying to find our way. We have now.”

Le Moyne and Merrimack have engaged in what has become a bitter rivalry the last five years. The Dolphins are the two-time defending Northeast-10 champions and have only lost seven games, total, the last four seasons. Three of those games have come at the hands of the Warriors.

Last season, Le Moyne ended Merrimack’s season with an 8-4 loss in the NE-10 semifinal round. The year before that, the Dolphins ended Merrimack’s season with a 10-7 loss in the NE-10 championship game. In 2011, Merrimack ended Le Moyne’s season in the NE-10 semifinal and in 2010 the Warriors beat Le Moyne in the NE-10 championship game.

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