Both the Saint Michael’s Purple Knights and the Merrimack Warriors had top level records this year at the Division II levels. Both teams participate in the Northeast-10 Conference, so achieving this goal of success does not come easy. The two teams combined for a record of 22-8 in 2013, and seemed to turn to the same winning formula; experience. Both the Purple Knights and the Warriors had senior dual threat attackman, which was the anchor to their offenses. Saint Michael’s had Marty Vanzo a 6-0 190 pound offensive machine, who collected 36 goals and 24 assists for a impressive 60 points in 2013. For Merrimack, their weapon was Corey Lunney; the 5-11 170 pound Northeast-10 conference player of the year. Who netted 45 goals and assisted 14 times for a total of 59 points this past season. This senior leadership and experience of these two offensive powerhouses had a winning trend. Both Merrimack and Saint Michael’s were consistently ranked in the national polls for Division II. Also both teams made it the semi-finals of the Northeast-10 playoffs, which is arguably the most competitive Division II conference in the country. This was a dramatic increase for The Saint Michael’s Purple Knights who were 9-5 in 2012. Yet just another top notch season for Merrimack who was 13-3 in 2012, making it a 6th straight year with a winning record.
Interestingly enough Saint Michael’s only loss to a New England team this year was to Merrimack, while the Warriors went undefeated in the region. 2013 was also the first time Merrimack had beaten the in conference power house LeMoyne in over 3 years. The leadership and experience of Vanzo and Lunney seemed to be the answer that helped these two teams elevate their seasons to a new level. Lunney also showcased his skills in the USILA North-South game by scoring the opening goal only 44 seconds into the game that was full of Division I All-Americans. While Coach Pat Ivory for Saint Michael’s, in his first season, was the Northeast-10 coach of the year. To say the least, Division II and New England lacrosse was portrayed in an encouraging way by these two colleges. With having a good reputation in 2013, both these teams look to match the same levels of success for years to come while simultaneously representing New England lacrosse in a positive manor.
This article was written by new blogger Ian. Let us know your thoughts below.