February 12, 2010

Merrimack Tops New England Coaches Poll

from press releases

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Led by five members of the preseason all-New England Team, the Merrimack men's lacrosse team has been picked as the top team in New England by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA).

Making up nearly half (5 of 13) of the all-New England team, Merrimack is led by senior captains Cory Spinale (Wakefield, MA) and Mark Webber (Mansfield, MA) as the all-New England goalie and one of four all-New England midfielders, respectively.

Spinale, a two-time NEILA all-New Englander, recorded a school record 14-3 mark before being named to the Northeast-10 all-Conference Second Team a year ago.  He was also third in the nation with a .633 save-percentage.

Webber anchored the Warriors power play to score 18 points in 2009 to accompany Spinale on the all-Conference Second Team.

Senior Shane Mahar (Slingerlands, NY) is one of three defensemen on the all-New England team, while junior Mike Balbuena (Falmouth, MA) joins Webber on the midfield squad and sophomore Nick Maggio (Winchester, MA) is the solitary specialist for the NEILA's preseason team.

Third-year head coach Mike Morgan's returnees include eight seniors after a school-record 14 wins and trip to the Final Four in 2009.  This spring, Merrimack will take the field on February 27 against the 2009 defending champion and preseason #1 C.W. Post on the road.

2010 NEILA Preseason Poll

1. Merrimack
2. Bentley
3. Saint Michael's
4. Saint Anselm
5. Southern New Hampshire

2010 NEILA Preseason All-New England Team

Attack:
Kevin Gould             Bentley             Sr.
Keith Murluzzo          SNHU               Jr.
Aaron McNab           AIC                   Jr.
Kevin Klaskin            Assumption      Sr.

Midfield:
Mike Balbuena         Merrimack        Jr.
Mark Webber           Merrimack        Sr.
Brad Tunis                Bentley             Sr.
James Baghai           St. Michael's     Sr.

Defense:
Matt Allen                 Bentley             Sr.
Shane Mahar           Merrimack        Sr.
Kevin DeBenedetto   Saint Anselm     Sr.

Specialist:
Nick Maggio            Merrimack        So.

Goalie:
Corey Spinale          Merrimack        Sr.


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