ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Short Story: The UAlbany men’s lacrosse team secures its spot in the 2023 America East Tournament for the 11th-straight season with a 13-11 victory over Merrimack on Senior Day.
- Peter Salit scored four goals and added one assist
- Graydon Hogg recorded a hat trick
- Jake Piseno recorded two assists and won seven ground balls
- Nick Karnes went 11-15 at faceoff and won seven ground balls
- Regan Endres went 8-12 at faceoff
- Jack VanValkenburgh recorded 10 saves
- UAlbany assisted on eight of 13 goals
Head Coach Scott Marr: “We certainly made it interesting, but we’re proud of our guys for bending and not breaking in the third quarter. We showed some good resilience in continuing to fight and come back. We’re really proud of our efforts and proud of the group for working hard all year. We clinched a playoff berth today and we have one game left next week against Binghamton to see where we sit, seed-wise. A lot of our seniors today and that was a great way to honor them. They went through a lot in their four years. They really missed two seasons, their freshman and sophomore years, due to COVID, and I give them a lot of credit for staying in this and being resilient to continue to work hard for this program and play with a lot of pride. It was an all-around great effort from our seniors today, and we’re really pleased with our effort today.”
How it Happened
- Less than 48 hours after hosting #19 Yale, the University at Albany men’s lacrosse team was back in action at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium to host their 2023 Senior Day against first-year America East associate member Merrimack. It was the first meeting between the two teams in the Great Danes’ Division I era, with a trip to the America East Tournament on the line for UAlbany.
- TJ Sheehan scored, unassisted, less than one minute after the opening faceoff to put UAlbany on the board. Peter Salit, with his first of four scores on the day, put UAlbany up 2-0 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
- Merrimack found the back of the net for the first time one minute later before Graydon Hogg scored his first of three goals with 8:07 left on the clock to give UAlbany a 3-1 lead.
- Nick Karnes got the start at the faceoff X for UAlbany on Sunday and won all five faceoffs taken in the first quarter. Karnes won the first faceoff of the second quarter as well, and Regan Endres won his first faceoff right afterwards, with the two combining to win each of the first seven faceoffs of the game.
- Salit scored his second goal to start the second quarter, before a two-goal run for Merrimack, spanning nine-and-a-half minutes, brought the Warriors within one, 4-3, with 2:21 remaining in the second quarter.
- Hogg scored twice in the final 1:37 to give UAlbany a 6-3 cushion at the break. The Great Danes had outshot Merrimack 23-16 in the first half and had gone 9-11 on the faceoff over the same span. Jake Piseno, UAlbany’s stellar long-stick midfielder, ran point on the Great Danes’ transition and recorded his two assists in the first half.
- The second half started with Keelan Seneca finding Amos Whitcomb for a behind-the-back score, kicking off a quick three-goal run for UAlbany that built their lead to 9-3 with 11:34 left in the third. Merrimack rallied to score each of the next five goals over a period of 5:06 to close to 9-8 with 3:11 on the clock.
- Ben Wimmer scored his third goal of the season with one minute left in the quarter to end the Warriors’ run at five and put UAlbany back up by two. Merrimack opened the fourth with another goal to keep close, but Salit scored twice, back-to-back just 56 seconds apart, to put the Great Danes up 12-9 with 10:49 remaining.
- Merrimack once again closed within one, scoring twice in just 1:15, but Thomas Decker added one final goal for the Great Danes with 4:22 on the clock to secure the 13-11 victory.
- UAlbany finished the game with a 48-39 advantage in shots, a 42-35 advantage in ground balls, and a 19-8 advantage in faceoffs. Piseno added seven ground balls and one caused turnover to his two assists.
Next: UAlbany hosts #15 Penn in its regular-season home finale on April 26. The America East Tournament begins May 4.