Mathew Galavo ’17
Year in Review: Merrimack Athletics
As the year comes to a close so does the sports calendar. Students athletes are hanging up their
equipment for the long summer ahead while others prepare for the rigors of a hard offseason of
training. Merrimack has seen many of it’s athletic teams excel this year with many of it’s teams
making the playoff and even an appearance in the NCAA tournament. The athletic calendar started
off with a bang after each fall sport proved just how good they can be. Each sport from soccer to
field hockey were injected with youth up and down their roster. The youth has greatly helped each
team achieve their main goal, winning.
The men’s soccer team had it’s most historic year to date. The team went 1552 during the season
and were towards the top of the NE10 conference. The road wasn’t a friendly place for the
Warriors as they struggled midway through the year before finishing with six wins on the road
improving their road record to 6-3-1. The Warriors entered the NE10 playoffs and went all the
way to the conference semifinals before losing to Southern Connecticut. The team was picked to
enter the NCAA tournament and won their first two games before losing to rival LIUPost in the
Sweet 16 2-0. The team took a huge step this season going all the way to the NCAA tournament
for the first time in school history. The experience gained will go a long way into the future of this.
The women’s soccer team had a bit of a roller coaster season. The team brought in 13 freshmen
and were one of the youngest teams in recent program history. The first half of the season was kind
to the Warriors with the team winning five out of their first including wins against rival LeMoyne
(2-1), and Bloomfield (7-0). The second half of the season was a different story. The month of
October only saw the Warriors capture two wins in their final ten games. The season ended with
Merrimack posting a 7-9-2 record and saw them miss the NE10 playoffs. One bright spot on the
season for the Warriors was the play of junior Jenna Savi. Savi recorded six goals, 8 assists, that
was good for 20 points on the year. Savi lead her team in each of the major offensive catagories.
With a youthful team like this one the future looks bright for the women’s soccer team.
The field hockey team at Merrimack has been one of the most successful teams in the last handful
of years with three final four appearances in the last four seasons. This year was different. As
many of the programs on campus the field hockey team saw five incoming freshmen to their roster.
The season started off well with the team winning five games in the month of September. October
was a little rocky with the Warriors tallying three wins in seven games. The field hockey team
finished with a 9-8 record while just missing the playoffs. The freshmen core on this squad that
really helped this team tremendously. Taylor Simpson (freshmen) lead the team in scoring with 34
points (15 goals, 4 assists). Rylee Hammond also helped spark the offense with 18 points (6 goals,
6 assists). The future of this team looks bright with the mix of veteran leadership and youthful.
The cross country team was injected with a great amount of youth this season. Both the men and
women’s team saw many new faces this fall. On the men’s side, Luis Cruz, Evan Vadernais were
some of the top runners for the men along with Phil Harris and James Wegman. For the women,
Kristin Schmidt, Claire Aalerud, Kylie Reardon, and Randa Griffin were some of the top runners
for the women’s side. The team finished 6th in the NE10 and 7th in the region.
The women’s volleyball team was once again back in the NE10 conference playoffs. This was the
second straight season the Warriors saw themselves in the postseason. The season started off
strongly with Merrimack winning eight out of their first ten matches. The month of October wasn’t
as friendly with the Warriors going 5-5 during that month. The team went a perfect 4-0 to finish
off the regular season slate. Unlike the year before, the Warriors weren’t able to get back to the
conference final as they were defeated by Bentley three sets to two. Senior Stephanie Sheehan lead
the team in kills per set with 4.21, and kills with 396. Junior Madison Burke in digs per set with
4.62 and digs with 434. With many underclassmen still remaining on the roster, the women’s
volleyball team will look to continue it’s recent success in the coming years.
After a struggle filled 2013 campaign, the Merrimack men’s hockey team turned it up a notch in
2014. With 10 new freshmen added to their lineup, it was youth that helped the Warriors excel this
season. The year started off well with the Warriors getting 10 wins in the first 15 games. The
ladder half of the regular season schedule went in a different direction when the team was only
able to pick up four wins in the final two months of the regular season, and finished with a record
of 16-18-2. The team entered the playoffs with Northeastern as their first round opponent. After
two games the team found themselves in the Hockey East Quarterfinals against one of the nations
top teams in Boston University. The series didn’t go the way the team had wished as they were
swept 2-0. The year was highlighted by freshman Brett Seney who lead the team in points with 26
and was tied for second in goals with 11. Senior goalie Rasmus Tirronen had a stellar campaign
with a record of 12-14-3 and recorded the record for single season save percentage with (.929).
The team will look to continue improving in the next few years.
The men’s basketball team took a step in the right direction in ‘14’15. They made the playoffs for
the first time in the last three seasons. After the midway point of the season, the team found
themselves with a record of 6-6. Once the month of January the Warriors went on a tear and
finished the season with a record of 16-12. After three years of waiting the team was ready to get
back into playoff action. The Warriors took on New Haven in the opening round, and too the game
with a final score of 79-63. The second round of the NE10 didn’t come with a winning result as
the team lost by a score of 97-65 to Southern New Hampshire. The team will look to build on this
season and become a much stronger group in the coming years.
The women’s basketball team had an up and down year but were able to get into to the NE10
conference playoffs for the third straight year. The team went 4-3 in the month of November and
then a perfect 5-0 in December. The Warriors struggled in the last two months of the season
winning only six games in the last two months. The NE10 conference playoffs weren’t as planned
as the team lost by a mere three points. The ‘14-’15 campaign was a year of ups and downs and the
team will look to return to the playoffs next fall.
This spring the Merrimack baseball team is looking to get back to the NE10 finals this season
after doing so just a year ago. The team currently stands with a record of 14-14 and an 8-9 record
in NE10 play. After 28 games the team currently is batting .271 and has driven in 151 runs. The
pitching staff has been lead by senior Joe Carnevale. Carnevale has four wins which is tied for first
on the team. He has also broken the strikeout record and is chasing the wins record. The team has
six games remaining in the regular season and are chasing a spot in the conference playoff.
The Merrimack softball squad is currently in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NE10 conference.
Their record currently stands at 16-23 and 9-12 in the NE10 conference play. After 39 games the
team currently has a batting average of .250 and have driven in 149 runs. Haley Currie has lead the
team in wins with 6 and has had 51 strikeouts to date. With four games to go the team is looking to
make a run at the conference playoffs.
The women’s lacrosse team has struggled this season, only capturing three wins in 16 games.
Conference play hasn’t been friendly to the Warriors as well with the team securing one win in
NE10 play. One bright spot in the season for the Warriors has been redshirt freshman Hunter
McCarthy who has lead the team in scoring with 36 points (28 goals, 8 assists). With a young team
the future is what the team is looking towards.
The men’s lacrosse team has been nothing short of great this season. Through 1 games this season
Merrimack holds a record of 11-1. Their lone loss came to rival LeMoyne just a few weeks ago.
Offensively, the team has scored 165 goals with an average of 13.75 goals per game. Max Allen
has been one of the top offensive players with 43 points (39 goals, 4 assists). The team has one
game remaining on the schedule before the conference playoffs begin.