Seamus Ford ran to the right side of Limestone’s goal before breaking out into a celebratory dance as his teammates converged and covered him in hugs. Ford had just punched a goal into the left corner of the net, amid a 6-0 Merrimack run in the second quarter. The Warriors never looked back and went on to win the NCAA Division II lacrosse championship, 16-8, at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Merrimack’s Davis Cronin looked unstoppable at the center of the field. From the opening whistle, he made quick work of the No. 6 faceoff man in the country, Limestone’s Chris Pratt. Cronin’s dominance coupled with poor shot selection by Limestone led to an early 3-1 lead for the Warriors.
“We’re not used to losing faceoffs like we did there,” said Limestone head coach J.B. Clarke. “When you give them double the possessions just off of faceoffs, they’re hard to defend.”
Limestone tied it with two quick goals to start the second quarter. Less than a minute later, Merrimack went on the 6-0 run to end the half with six different players scoring a goal.
“That’s one thing we’ve seen is a lot of depth,” Merrimack head coach Mike Morgan said. “We’re sharing the ball and everyone is scoring, Chuck [Charlie Bertrand] gets a lot of press as he should, but it’s a special group. When we play together they’re tough to stop.”
To start the second half, Limestone replaced Pratt with Dakota Kirsch-Downs on faceoffs and the Saints went on a 4-1 run to end the third quarter.
Bertrand ended the Warriors’ 15-minute scoring drought with two goals to start the fourth, starting a 6-1 run the rest of the way.
Bertrand finished with four goals and three assists. Christian Thomas added three goals and an assist.