(Photo Courtesy of Merrimack Athletics)
Following the 2019 season, which saw Merrimack win a second consecutive DII national title, the Warriors made a jump that hadnt been seen since Bryant made the same move in 2012. That move being the Warriors jump up from DII to DI.
Moving up to DI, where they joined the NEC, after winning two straight national titles at the DII level created a certain level of excitement and buzz around the Andover-based program and how competitive they could be in their new home, especially once they become a full member and able to compete in the postseason in 2024. However, the first two years of the DI era for Merrimack lacrosse havent been as kind as they would like.
First off, the Warriors saw their inaugural season as a DI program cut short six games in. They went 1-5 in those six contests, but only fell by an average of 1.8 goals. In 2021, competing in their first full season as a DI, Merrimack went 5-5 (4-4 NEC) and finished fifth in the conference standings. They took their losses by an average of 4.4 goals, which included a one-goal, 11-10, loss against eventual NEC Champion Bryant.
With two years to go until the Warriors can compete in the postseason, the DI adaptation continues for this program. Heading into 2022, Mike Morgan leads Merrimack into its third season as a DI program looking to build upon the successes found last season, and keep taking the necessary steps forward to be a consistent competitor within the NEC, especially once 2024 rolls around.
In 2021, the NEC featured some stellar offenses with LIU (14.09 goals per game) and Bryant (13.62) being top-15 nationally while St. Josephs (12.38) and Hobart (12.22) were each top-25 scoring offense at seasons end. Merrimack sat right behind that group as the fifth best offense in the conference and 30th-best in the nation, averaging 11.40 goals per game. The Warriors also averaged 6.33 assists per game and 17.10 points per game.
Those numbers are up from what the Warriors were producing in 2020 prior to the season being cut short. And being able to improve in the first year of the post Charlie Bertrand era is a good sign for this Merrimack offense going forward, as they should be able to improve further or, at least, hover around the same numbers during the upcoming 2022 season. That is especially true with how much production this Warriors offense will return this spring.
Merrimack will see each of their top five point-getters back from a year ago, including the Rooney brothers who took the reigns and led this offense last season. Jack Rooney, a junior attackman, transferred in from Furman and led the Warriors offense with 34 points off 25 goals and nine assists. Tommy Rooney, a senior midfielder, was Merrimacks second-leading scorer last season with 33 points off 25 goals and nine assists. The elder Rooney transferred in from Siena prior to last season.
In addition to the aforementioned sharp-shooting brothers, Merrimack returns attackmen Christian Thomas (21G/6A) and Sean Black (5G/19A) for an extra season, while senior midfielder Drew Hailey (14G/4A), who played in all 10 games but only started the first three, also returns after being the Warriors fifth-leading scorer last season. Black was the only first team All-NEC selection from Merrimack last season, and the teams only All-NEC pick on the offensive end.
Max Morrill (11G/2A), Grant Laman (5G/3A), and Aiden Glover (4G/1A) will also be returning after each saw multiple starts at the midfield spot last season. The trio will surely
With the core of this offense, which is filled with guys who have and can play and succeed at multiple positions on the field, returning, its not naive to think this unit can possibly take a big step up in 2022. That looks even more like a real possibility when you consider the sheer amount of talent back and the fact that this unit did progress a decent amount last season. The Warriors averaged 12 goals per game during their final five games after averaging 10.8 goals per game in their first five contests, which included two single-digit outputs.
Merrimack also saw its shooting percentage during the back half of the season, shooting approximately 33% per game during the final five games of the season after seeing that number be around 27% during the first half of the season.
Defensively, the Warriors deployed a fairly green unit last season with defenseman Nicholas Perez-Blanco (14GB/18CT), who led the team in caused turnovers and was a first team All-NEC selection, being the only one of two heavy contributors with any starting experience heading into the year. LSM Christian Glover (23GB/10CT) was the only other key player on the back end with much experience, having appeared in 20 games in his first two seasons in North Andover.
Perez-Blanco and Glover headlined a defense that saw two freshman get the starting nod the majority of the season, while a duo of sophomores also made a significant impact. NEC All-Rookie defenseman Joseph Jorgenson (11GB/8CT) started all 10 games as a freshman at close last season while Riley Reed (11GB/3CT) saw action in every game with seven starts as a sophomore. Sam Walsh (6GB/5CT) started half of the games (3) at close as a freshman during 2020 and saw similar time as a sophomore this past season, playing in seven games and starting the first three.
The youthfulness of this defense even extended into the cage with Furman transfer Andrew Jenet starting the first game of the season as a sophomore before freshman Henry Vogt took over the following game and started the rest of the season. Vogt made 103 saves with a .531% save percentage and earned All-Rookie honors in the NEC.
Additionally, Merrimack will also return their top two SSDMs in juniors Jack Barron (23GB/7CT) and Michael Ferrara (7GB/3CT). The pair look to be key options for this rope unit again in 2022 after putting together strong sophomore campaigns this past spring.
Merrimacks defense wasnt the best last season, allowing 11.8 goals per game, which includes allowing 20 goals against Bryant in early-March. However, with the experienced leaders, as well as the young talent, the Warriors bring back on the back end this coming season, there isnt much reason to doubt how much this unit can improve.
Another area of the field in which Merrimack deployed a good amount of youth last season was at the faceoff dot. Allyn French, who served as the primary option as a freshman in 2020, starter the year as the starter but was sidelined with a knee injury after just three games. Freshman Karl Sutter stepped into that primary role, going 70-for-132 (.530%). French went 23-for-47 (.489%) in the three games he appeared in.
Assuming French is able to comeback 100%, him and Sutter could create an exciting one-two-punch at the dot that posses a lot of potential. And if just one of them comes through with an uber strong season, this Merrimack offense could possibly progress and explode more than expected due to those extra possessions.
Read the rest here:
- Online Banking - Progress Bank - September 20th, 2021
- Online Education Market in India to Progress at 20% CAGR during 2021-2025 | Increased Penetration Of Internet And Smartphones In India to Boost Growth... - September 20th, 2021
- Notre Dame Made Progress In Its Win Over Purdue - CalBearsMaven - September 20th, 2021
- Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2021 - World - ReliefWeb - September 20th, 2021
- Young Pirates making progress on the football field - Palm Coast Observer - September 20th, 2021
- At what price progress? - Buffalo Rising - September 20th, 2021
- Task force makes progress on investigation into top Southern Baptist committee's handling of sexual abuse allegations - Yahoo News - September 20th, 2021
- Was Justin Herbert's forward progress stopped on controversial play? - Yardbarker - September 20th, 2021
- New report assesses progress and risks of artificial intelligence - Brown University - September 20th, 2021
- Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky 'Vaccines in Kentucky Poll' shows progress in lowering hesitancy - User-generated content - September 20th, 2021
- Fence on Belarus border in progress - MoD The First News - The First News - September 20th, 2021
- Vaccine Tribalism Is Poisoning Progress on COVID Science - MedPage Today - September 20th, 2021
- Pair of new businesses are signs of ongoing progress - Rome Sentinel - September 20th, 2021
- The Acura NSX Exemplifies the March of Progress - RoadandTrack.com - September 20th, 2021
- Progress continues WoW Classic dominance with world-first clear of Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep - Dot Esports - September 20th, 2021
- Agricultural Subsidies Are Hindering Progress On the SDGs - Triple Pundit - September 20th, 2021
- As harvest starts, some positive reports from growers - Farm Progress - September 20th, 2021
- Ultimate Products' Progress brand signs deal with Oprah Winfrey-backed WW - Business Live - September 20th, 2021
- Palo Alto's Third Progress Report on the Community & Economic Recovery - cityofpaloalto.org - September 20th, 2021
- Yes, Other Countries Are Making More Progress on Housing, Case 4: The United Kingdom and New Zealand - Sightline Institute - September 20th, 2021
- Rutgers makes more progress in win over Syracuse despite miscues - On The Banks - September 12th, 2021
- FDA Makes Significant Progress in Science-Based Public Health Application Review, Taking Action on Over 90% of More Than 6.5 Million 'Deemed' New... - September 12th, 2021
- No. 12 Oregon shocks No. 3 Ohio State: Its tremendous progress, but it is just the beginning - AL.com - September 12th, 2021
- Montana firefighter severely burned in July reports great progress on recovery - Oil City News - September 12th, 2021
- Game grades: UNC football makes good progress in win at Houston Baptist - Loveland Reporter-Herald - September 12th, 2021
- Column: Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy need to show progress this season with a Chicago Bears roster in flux. But the team could look very different in 2022.... - September 12th, 2021
- Progress made on tourism initiatives - The Garden Island - September 12th, 2021
- Football: Northbrook Raiders still winless but seeing clear signs of progress - Houston Chronicle - September 12th, 2021
- PROGRESS Wrestling Results (9/11): New Tag Team Champions, Cara Noir Defends World Title - Wrestling Inc. - September 12th, 2021
- Will progress be wiped at the end of the New World open beta? - Dot Esports - September 12th, 2021
- Picture this: 2021 Farm Progress Show - Farm Progress - September 12th, 2021
- Measuring and forecasting progress in education: what about early childhood? | npj Science of Learning - Nature.com - September 12th, 2021
- Progress isn't always pretty | This Week in Business - GamesIndustry.biz - September 12th, 2021
- NASCAR Playoffs Are in Progress, but Tony Stewart Eyes Adding a New Twist to the SRX Series - Sportscasting - September 12th, 2021
- Study: COVID-19 Reversed Progress for Ohio Women, More Than 1 Million Workers Displaced - Cleveland Scene - September 12th, 2021
- Indigo Pays 267 Farmers for Progress in First-Ever Carbon Farming Program - newsdakota.com - September 12th, 2021
- Since 9/11, Tremendous Progress in Homeland Security - Governing - September 12th, 2021
- 20 Years After 9/11, Leader With The Birmingham Islamic Society Says Progress Is Miniscule - WBHM - September 12th, 2021
- UAMS reports progress in finding cause of COVID-19 'long-haulers' - Arkansas Times - September 10th, 2021
- A Sign of Relationship Progress Between Princes William and Harry? Royal Expert Says Yes - PureWow - September 10th, 2021
- Offensive Rotations Still a Work in Progress for Louisville - CalBearsMaven - September 10th, 2021
- New Wildfires Erupt In California As Officials Make Progress On The Caldor Fire - NPR - September 10th, 2021
- Narration of Progress award to wrap up on Sept. 11 - Tehran Times - September 10th, 2021
- How do I overcome chronic indecision and make progress with my life? - The Guardian - September 10th, 2021
- Microsoft Adds Reading Progress App to Teams - T.H.E. Journal - September 10th, 2021
- Sayers: D.A.'s office will not prosecute for mask violations - Clearfield Progress - September 10th, 2021
- Progress made toward fire suppression in RFD1 - The Havre Daily News - September 10th, 2021
- Pressure BioSciences, Inc. Reports Escalating Quarterly Revenue, Major Progress in Key Platform Technologies, and Formation of Eco-Friendly Agrochem... - September 10th, 2021
- New head of Williamsville schools focusing on progress, reuniting the district - WIVB.com - News 4 - September 10th, 2021
- Pandemic significantly reversed progress against other global diseases: 5 report notes - Becker's Hospital Review - September 10th, 2021
- Review: Overwhelming Talent Floods WORK IN PROGRESS: THE NEXT GENERATION OF WRITERS at Feinstein's/54 Below - Broadway World - September 10th, 2021
- HE aid programmes and HE progress at risk under Taliban - University World News - September 10th, 2021
- 2021 Diversity Report shows progress and a long way to go - The Fulcrum - September 10th, 2021
- Supporting progress and human rights - CSMonitor.com - The Christian Science Monitor - September 10th, 2021
- Progress Announces Winners of the 2021 Chef Awards - Yahoo Finance - September 10th, 2021
- Sean McVay very pleased with Sony Michel's progress: 'He's been intense in meetings' - Rams Wire - September 10th, 2021
- Little Progress Made In Providing Blacks Financial Services and Healthcare, But NFHA Wants To Change That - Black Enterprise - September 10th, 2021
- The J.M. Smucker Co. Shares Progress on Thriving Together Agenda - Yahoo Finance - September 10th, 2021
- Towards a broader definition of value: why we underestimate the benefits of progress on NTDs - BugBitten - BMC Blogs Network - September 10th, 2021
- Sept. 9, 2021: Southeastern re-opening progress update The Lion's Roar - The Lion's Roar Newspaper - September 10th, 2021
- Evacuations lifted after forward progress of Caballo Fire near Los Olivos stopped | NewsChannel 3-12 - KEYT - September 10th, 2021
- Indigo Pays 267 Farmers for Progress in First-Ever Carbon Farming Program - 953mnc.com - September 10th, 2021
- Alta Resources sees strong progress on its newest building in Fort Myers - PRNewswire - September 10th, 2021
- Samad makes progress with eVTOL flight tests and a new cargo drone - New Atlas - September 10th, 2021
- Chick-fil-A making progress in Locust Grove and Union Grove - Moving Henry Forward - September 10th, 2021
- NFL first-round pick progress reports: How all 32 rookies performed in training camp, plus outlook for 2021 - ESPN - August 28th, 2021
- Titans happy with progress on 3rd downs in camp and preseason - Titans Wire - August 28th, 2021
- Ceremony to Celebrate the City of Clearwater's Progress on Imagine Clearwater Plan | News List | City of Clearwater, FL - myclearwater.com - August 28th, 2021
- Bennett Fire progress slow and steady - The Union of Grass Valley - August 28th, 2021
- Afghan Film Progress Obliterated By Taliban Takeover Special Report From Afghanistan - Deadline - August 28th, 2021
- OL Jesse Davis seeing signs of progress from Dolphins' run game - Dolphins Wire - August 28th, 2021
- Cultural backlash: Is LGBTQ progress an attack on Christianity? - Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom - August 28th, 2021
- An American influx ahead? Bayern Munich campus director Jochen Sauer touts progress in the United States - Bavarian Football Works - August 28th, 2021
- Progress on level of water stress - Global status and acceleration needs for SDG indicator 6.4.2 - World - ReliefWeb - August 28th, 2021
- Saleh happy with Jets' progress, despite injuries - Newsday - August 28th, 2021
- Progress on change in water-use efficiency - Global status and acceleration needs for SDG indicator 6.4.1 - World - ReliefWeb - August 28th, 2021
- Crews Making Progress on Twenty-Five Mile Fire - Lake Chelan Now - August 28th, 2021
- NY Jets: The 3 biggest ways QB Zach Wilson showed progress in his first training camp - NorthJersey.com - August 28th, 2021
- NFL rookie report: Updating the progress of Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney - Gators Wire - August 28th, 2021
- New Albany remains a work in progress | News, Sports, Jobs - Evening Observer - August 28th, 2021