Le Moyne vs. Merrimack
May 3, 2009
The Game Story:
Syracuse, N.Y. – The top-ranked Le Moyne College men’s lacrosse team won its ninth Northeast-10 Conference title with a 10-2 win over No. 4 Merrimack College at the Thomas J. Niland Athletic Complex Sunday afternoon. Sophomores Matt Chadderdon (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) and Jack Venditti (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Baldwinsville) combined for nine of Le Moyne’s 10 goals. Tournament MVP Doug McIver (Altamont, N.Y./Albany Academy) recorded 12 saves in goal for the Dolphins.

Le Moyne picked up where it left off in Friday’s 16-2 win over St. Anselm in the conference semifinals, scoring the game’s first six goals to take a 6-0 lead into halftime. After almost 11 minutes of scoreless action to open the game, Chadderdon broke through with his first of five goals on the afternoon off a feed from classmate Jack Harmatuk (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy/Syracuse U.). Venditti followed with back-to-back goals. The attackman struck 10 seconds after Chadderdon’s opening score and added another on an assist from sophomore Tyler Sennett (Syracuse, N.Y./Nottingham) with 54 seconds to play in the first quarter.

Neither side managed a goal in the first 10 minutes of the second quarter, but Le Moyne broke through for a trio of goals over the final five minutes of the half. Chadderdon netted a pair of man-up goals on feeds from seniors Brooks Robinson (Preble, N.Y./Tully/Onondaga C.C.) and Brian Welch (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca) to give the Dolphins a 5-0 lead with 1:27 to play in the half. Welch used a nifty play to pick up the assist, faking a handoff to sophomore Corey Bulken (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Baldwinsville) before finding Chadderdon for the goal. Harmatuk scored with 19 seconds left off an assist from Venditti to cap first-half scoring.

David Robinson netted Merrimack’s first goal five minutes into the second half on an unassisted effort. Robinson fed Chadderdon to restore Le Moyne’s six-goal lead before Kevin Laplante pulled the Warriors within five, at 7-2, with 1:42 to play in the third quarter. Le Moyne’s defense held Merrimack scoreless the rest of the way and the Dolphins tallied three times in the game’s final quarter, on a goal from Chadderdon and a pair from Venditti, to produce the game’s 10-2 final score.

Chadderdon scored five goals for the second straight game to match his career-high. With 33 goals scored on the season, he leads the Dolphins in that category. Venditti’s four goals marked a career-high and Welch added to his team-high 17 assists with three helpers on the afternoon. Harmatuk increased his team-leading season points total to 46 with a goal and a pair of assists on the afternoon.

Le Moyne’s defensive unit, which leads the nation in man-down defense, shut down all five of Merrimack’s extra-man opportunities on the afternoon. McIver’s 12 saves were his second-best output of the season, only to his 14-save performance against Limestone in March. The senior goalkeeper was joined on the conference’s All-Tournament team by Chadderdon and junior longpole defender Drew Bezek (Lowville, N.Y./Lowville).

The Dolphins (15-0, NE-10 8-0) took home the Northeast-10 Conference hardware for the eighth time in nine years and ninth time overall. Le Moyne will await word on a May 16 Division II NCAA semifinal match-up.